WIPO panel finds chemical company engaged in RDNH

Panel determines that company submitted “selective and incomplete story”.

A three person WIPO panel has found NH Resources LLC of Texas to have engaged in reverse domain name hijacking over the domain name No-Heat.net.

It’s a bizarre case in which the parties have already been embroiled in lawsuits, there are allegations of bribery and a host of other issues.

Without going down that rabbit hole, the panel determined that the complainants were not completely forthcoming in the UDRP. Because UDRPs have no discovery, no live hearing and no cross-examination of witnesses, panels rely on the parties to provide all of the material facts in the parties’ written submissions. That’s why complainants must sign a statement:

The Complainant certifies that the information contained in this Complaint is to the best of the Complainant’s knowledge complete and accurate, that this Complaint is not being presented for any improper purpose, such as to harass, and that the assertions in this Complaint are warranted under the Rules and under applicable law, as it now exists or as it may be extended by a good-faith and reasonable argument.

According to panelists John Swinson, Gaynell Methvin and David H. Bernstein, the complainants “submitted a Complaint which told a selective and incomplete story”, including leaving out some legal proceedings.

It’s an interesting read.

Brands missing the mark with .Sucks defensive registrations

Knee-jerk reaction doesn’t make sense and leaves companies vulnerable.

.SucksI’m not a fan of .sucks business model. I’m not a fan of charging big brands a premium to protect their brands with the veiled threat of someone creating a gripe site against the company.

At the same time, I’m a bit flummoxed at the knee-jerk reaction some companies are taking with .sucks compared to other domains. They’re paying thousands of dollars to protect their brand.sucks domain name, but leaving many other potential “bad” domains unregistered.

As I started to research which brands are doing this, I saw that Konstantinos Zournas at OnlineDomain.com has already run some analysis. He found that about half of the domains registered in .sucks sunrise are available as brandsucks.com.

Why would Ocean Spray pay so much for OceanSpray.sucks and not register OceanSpraySucks.com? If you’re worried about gripe sites, the extra $10 is worth it.

Any why are companies paying for .sucks when they skipped .gripe and .exposed? Click here to continue reading…

Big brands register .Sucks as ICANN asks FTC for review

Oprah, Apple and Microsoft among companies paying to protect their brands.

Intellectual property interests and brands owners are upset about the .sucks domain name and its pricing, but many big brands aren’t taking chances even as ICANN asks government regulators to review it.

.Sucks registry Vox Populi continues to advertise which companies are coughing up dough to prevent their .sucks domains from being available to the general public. Some of the latest: Oprah (Oprah.sucks), Verizon (Verizon.sucks), Apple (iPad.sucks) and Microsoft (xbox.sucks).

Sunrise pricing has an MSRP of $2,499, although some domains are marked as premium and come with higher prices. Prices will be lower after sunrise, but not necessarily for premium names. Consumers that want to register a .sucks domain and agree to use a dedicated platform can get the domains for only $9.99 during general availability.

Brand protection registrar MarkMonitor is charging just $25 above wholesale for .sucks domains.

Yesterday ICANN asked the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and Canada’s Office of Consumer Affairs to look into .sucks’ pricing after the Intellectual Property Constituency described it as “predatory, exploitative and coercive”.

ICANN asks FTC and OCA to review .Sucks

ICANN asks government agencies for feedback on .sucks plan.

ICANN has sent a letter to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and Canada’s Office of Consumer Affairs (OCA), asking them to consider if Vox Populi’s plans for the .sucks top level domain are violating any laws or regulations these agencies enforce.

.Sucks registry Vox Populi has an interesting pricing model that charges some brand owners — including those that have tried to protect their brands in new domain names — a higher fee.

The Intellectual Property Constituency wrote to ICANN last month asking it to take action to halt the rollout as it’s currently planned.

ICANN is deferring to the regulatory authorities as to if any rules or laws are being violated. If Vox Populi is not complying with all applicable laws, ICANN says it may be in breach of its registry agreement.

More details are available in an official ICANN blog post.

MySchool.com domain name owner fights back after lawsuit

Domain name owner alleges reverse domain name hijacking.

Original Web Ventures has responded to a lawsuit filed against its domain name MySchool.com, and has made claims of its own against plaintiff Joseph Carpenter.

Carpenter filed an in rem lawsuit against MySchool.com in February after losing two separate UDRP cases over the domain name. The lawsuit sought to get control of the domain name under the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act. Carpenter runs a site at MySchool411.com.

Original Web Ventures, which paid $42,000 for the domain name and has already defended one of the UDRPs, recently responded (pdf) to the in rem suit. In addition to denying the claims, it put forth its own demands for trademark cancellation, a declaration of the parties’ rights, reverse domain name hijacking, and for a finding of the MySchool.com domain registrant’s lack of bad faith under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act.

Carpenter is represented by Steven Rinehart and Original Web Ventures is represented by Wiley Rein.