Domain Name Wire

Domain Name Wire

Displaying posts under "Policy & Law"

  • Photo.com — sold for over $1 million twice — saved in UDRP

    1. BY - Jan 26, 2015
    2. Policy & Law
    3. 1 Comment

    Complainant makes interesting allegations in UDRP.

    A three person WIPO panel has handed down a decision in a UDRP for Photo.com in a case I wrote about in October.

    The complainant owns Foto.com, but there’s a lot more to the story than just a company using UDRP to go after a great domain name.

    According to complainant Fotocom Société Anonyme:

    Complainant contends that Respondent is actually controlled or influenced by its former Chief Executive Officer (hereinafter “Panos”). According to the Complaint, Panos was Complainant’s CEO from 2005 until 2011, and it is alleged that in 2010 Panos launched a “competing activity” under the name “Photo.com.” It is further alleged that in 2010, Panos, in his position as CEO, hired a United Kingdom law firm to pursue the acquisition the Domain Name photo.com from a domain broker. Complainant alleges that Panos was actually secretly bidding against his own company and that, in February 2010, the Domain Name was sold for USD 1,250,000 to a company, xxlpix Limited, controlled by Panos. Complainant even alleges that the purchase price for the Domain Name Panos surreptitiously acquired was actually financed by Complainant’s money, through the “illegal diversion” of company funds “through illegal offshore mechanisms.”

    If that was the case, the current domain name owner says it had nothing to do with that past purchase.

    Photography company motiondrive AG says it acquired the domain name via domain broker DomainHoldings for over 1 million euros in 2012.

    It appears that Photo.com has sold for over a million dollars twice in the past five years.

    motiondrive AG claims Fotocom is engaged in “a delusional crusade”; Fotocom still believes Panos is the owner of the domain name.

    The panel denied the complaint. Even if Fotocom’s allegations are true, they aren’t the type of issue a UDRP panel addresses.

  • .XXX registry releases Domain Check for brand owners

    1. BY - Jan 22, 2015
    2. Policy & Law
    3. 4 Comments

    Tool checks brand across more than just ICM Registry’s top level domain names.

    ICM Registry, the company behind .xxx and the forthcoming .porn and .adult domain names, has released an online tool for companies to check their brands across hundreds of new top level domain names.

    Domain Check, of course, provides status information related to ICM’s own top level domain names. But it also checks the domain name across many TLDs, providing launch phase and registration status.

    For example, here’s what you see when you type in ESPN.com: Click here to continue reading…

  • Investment firm RVK engaged in Reverse Domain Name Hijacking on RVK.com

    1. BY - Jan 21, 2015
    2. Policy & Law
    3. 8 Comments

    Company changed its brand last year, filed UDRP to get matching three letter domain name.

    RVK financial

    They want the matching domain name, but would rather not pay for it.

    A World Intellectual Property Organization panel has found investment advisory firm RVK (formerly R.V. Kuhns & Associates, Inc.) guilty of engaging in reverse domain name hijacking over the domain name RVK.com.

    The company, aided by law firm Tonkon Torp LLP, filed a UDRP against domain name owner Gregory Ricks.

    According to the decision, the initial complaint said the firm has been using the RVK mark in commerce since April 2000. After Ricks responded that he registered the domain name before that date, RVK amended its complaint with a new affidavit claiming first use in 1992. The 1992 date relied on use in letterhead, and the panel determined that the 1992 date was unfounded.

    The panel noted that, even if the 1992 date were proven, there is still no evidence that the respondent was aware of the mark and that he engaged in bad-faith conduct. Ricks claims to have never received correspondence from RVK prior to the November 2014 UDRP filing. Click to continue reading…

  • The wild story about how the domain name CM.com was just registered

    1. BY - Jan 21, 2015
    2. Policy & Law
    3. 10 Comments

    Verisign just allowed the reserved domain name CM.com to be registered. Here’s why.

    In 2013, the longtime registrant of CM.com lost his domain name.

    The domain name had been registered to Satoshi Shimoshita since 2004. Yet the domain name was deleted following a period in which the nameservers for the domain name pointed to NS1.SPAMSHUTDOWN.COM.

    That a registrar forcefully deleted an extremely valuable domain name not coming up for renewal is rather odd. But the story of CM.com has become even more intriguing since then…

    When Domain.com deleted CM.com in 2013, the domain name didn’t become available for registration. At the time, I reached out to Verisign to understand why no one could register it. Click to continue reading…

  • MomAndMe.com spared in UDRP. Should have been RDNH?

    1. BY - Jan 20, 2015
    2. Policy & Law
    3. 1 Comment

    Indian company should not have brought case.

    A single member World Intellectual Property Organization panel has ruled against Mahindra & Mahindra Limited of India in its UDRP against the owner of MomAndMe.com.

    Even though the domain name owner didn’t respond, this case should have been a candidate for reverse domain name hijacking.

    The complainant claims rights dating as far back as 2007. The domain name owner appears to have registered the domain name in 2000. Case closed.

    More worrisome is how easy it is to figure out that MomAndMe.com’s owner has rights or legitimate interests in the domain name:

    • The whois reflects “Mom and Me”
    • Simply Googling the phone number in whois shows that it is a scrapbooking store in Utah. In fact, if you call the number, a friendly woman picks up the phone at the scrapbooking store.
    • Archive.org shows that the domain was previously used for a site about scrapbooking. (It no longer resolves.)

    I usually don’t blame panelists for ignoring the issue of reverse domain name hijacking when the respondent doesn’t reply to a case. But in this case, I think panelist Alistair Payne should have considered it.