Company files cybersquatting complaint on domain registered well before it existed.
Cruise booking company Dreamlines GmbH, which has raised over $37 million in investments, has been found to have attempted reverse domain name hijacking for the domain name Dreamlines.com.
It’s a classic case: a company is founded after a domain is registered. It tries to buy the domain name it wants but fails. So it files a cybersquatting complaint under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolutions Policy (UDRP).
Of course, UDRP can’t be used to obtain a domain name that was registered by its current owner prior to the complainant having trademark rights in the name.
In this case, the very earliest the complainant could try to claim for using the Dreamlines mark was 2009. The domain name was registered in 1997.
World Intellectual Property Organization panelist Andrew D. S. Lothian noted:
The Panel notes that the Complaint was launched following the Complainant’s unsuccessful attempt to purchase a domain name that cannot be considered to have been registered in bad faith given the significant extent to which its creation date pre-dates the Complainant’s registered trademark and even the existence of the Complainant itself. On those facts alone, this case might be considered to be a typical example of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking.
The Panel is satisfied that the Complainant must or at least ought to have appreciated at the outset that its complaint could not likely succeed.
Dreamlines GmbH uses Dreamlines as a second level domain under a number of ccTLDs, such as Dreamlines.fr.