2 domain name owners don’t respond but win UDRPs

Panelists do their job by evaluating cases on their merits.

The owners of Marlboro.reviews and PoolFactory.com can keep their domain names, despite not responding to UDRPs.

Although respondents can win a UDRP without responding, panelists typically give the benefit of the doubt to the complainant in these cases. In one recent case, a panelist even asked the complainant to amend the case to make it easier to side with it!

One of the two cases was brought by The Pool Factory, Inc for the domain name PoolFactory.com. Panelist Steven Maier noted that parking a domain name and owning lots of domain names (as the respondent did) is not necessarily a sign of bad faith. The complainant also shot itself in the foot by trying to buy the domain name and other similar ones: Click to continue reading…

Domain definitions: whois privacy vs. whois proxy

What’s the difference between whois privacy and whois proxy?

With talk in Washington and policy circles about whois privacy, I think it would be good to define both whois privacy and whois proxy, and discussed how the terms are usually used.

Traditionally, whois privacy has referred to a service in which the owner of a domain name is listed in the public whois record contacts, but the privacy service’s contact details (phone, address, email et al) are listed instead of the owner’s.

This makes the registrant the owner of the domain but keeps them from getting telemarketing calls or having to disclose their home address.

A whois proxy goes a step further by masking the identity of the registrant. The proxy service acts as a proxy registrant. Here’s an example of a proxy in whois: Click here to continue reading…

Panelist asks complainant to modify its case to snag domain registered in 1995

Domain wasn’t registered in bad faith, but panelist asks complainant to make a different argument.

I’m dumbfounded.

A single member UDRP panelist with National Arbitration Forum has ordered the domain name VideoLink.com be transferred — after, apparently, asking the complainant to modify its argument to the panelist’s liking.

VideoLink, Inc. said it started using the VideoLink term in commerce in 1999. Xantech Corporation registered the domain name in 1995, so the respondent could not have registered the domain name in bad faith.

Some complainants have argued that the relevant date for registration in a UDRP is when a domain name is renewed. In other words, a domain name can be renewed in bad faith. Only a handful of panelists have accepted this view.

But in this case, according to panelist Bruce Meyerson’s decision, he actually asked the complainant to make this argument so he could order the domain name transferred. Click here to continue reading…

Stolen domain GPZ.com recovered through cybersquatting claim

National Arbitration Forum panel orders stolen domain name be returned to its longtime owner.

An allegedly stolen three letter domain name has been returned to its previous owner through a UDRP cybersquatting claim.

Mountain View, California software company GPZ Technology, Inc. registered GPZ.com in 1996. The domain name was apparently stolen from its 1&1 domain name registrar account earlier this year and transferred to Registrar of Domain Names REG.RU LLC. GPZ provided a police report to the panel.

Although GPZ Technology doesn’t have any registered trademarks for GPZ, panelist Neil Anthony Brown QC determined that it had common law rights in the term.

In cases of alleged theft, panelists will often give the benefit of the doubt to the complainant, especially when the alleged thief doesn’t respond to the allegations.

Doh! UDRP complainant admits domain name not registered in bad faith

Complainant tries to argue that domain name owner forfeited rights to domain name by not using it.

A simple call to a lawyer could have prevented a Minnesota dog charity from being labeled a reverse domain name hijacker.

Can Do Canines, which owns the domain name can-do-canines.org, has been found to have engaged in reverse domain name hijacking over the domain name candocanines.org.

The respondent didn’t have to do much to persuade panelist Nathalie Dreyfus. After all, the complainant admitted the domain name wasn’t registered in bad faith. It was registered before the complainant started using the brand. Instead, Can Do Canines argued that the respondent forfeited rights to the domain name by not doing anything with it for seven years.

Yeah, that’s not going to fly.

Panelists often give clueless complainants who don’t have a lawyer a pass on RDNH. But, even with a clueless complainant, the owner of the domain name felt compelled to hire an attorney. So RDNH was definitely the right call.

Now if only the respondent could get his attorney’s fees paid…