Operator of Dollar City stores tries to argue “retroactive bad faith.”
Domain name investor Mike Mann has successfully defended against a UDRP on his domain name DollarCity.com, and the panel found complainant Centroamerica Comercial guilty of reverse domain name hijacking.
Centroamerica Comercial runs a chain of over 50 Dollar City stores in El Salvador and Guatemala that sell goods for less than $1.
Mann registered the domain name in 2007, well before Dollar City had any trademark rights in the name. So the complainant tried to argue retroactive bad faith registration. It cited previous cases in which rogue panelists determined that a domain name could be subsequently used in bad faith and this would count as registered in bad faith.
Even if one of those panelists heard this case, they wouldn’t have found in the complainants’ favor. Mann didn’t use the domain name in any way that would suggest bad faith, such as promoting a competitor of the complainant.
The panel also noted that Mann’s registration of the domain name for resale gives him a legitimate interest in the domain name:
While the mere registration of such a domain name will not generally give rise to rights or legitimate interests in the name, the Panel finds that the offer of the disputed domain name for sale in accordance with the Respondent’s general business activities does give rise to a legitimate interest in this case.
Amusingly, the complainant cited the Ville de Paris case for Parvi.org as its model case. That decision was later nullified in court and Paris was ordered to pay $100,000 for reverse domain name hijacking.
The complainant was represented by Rodriguez Azuero Contexto Intelectual. Mann was represented by Smith Gambrell & Russell LLP.