2 panelists say RDNH, other says domain name should be transferred

How did one panelist think a domain should be transferred when the other two say the case was brought in bad faith?

It’s fairly rare that a panelist files a dissenting opinion in a UDRP. Usually a three person panel comes to the same conclusion, although occasionally you’ll see a dissent.

But a recent decision treads even further into “rare” territory: 2 panelists thought the case was so egregious, it qualified at Reverse Domain Name Hijacking. A third panelist actually found in favor of the complainant.

The case pitted European giant easyGroup Limited against Hong Kong company Easy Group Holdings Limited, which registered the domain name EasyGroup.com in 1998. The domain was registered before easyGroup got any trademark rights in the name (it already ran EasyJet, but hadn’t yet become the conglomerate it is today). The respondent runs a business with the term “easy” in it. Click here to continue reading…

Wow, how was this case not reverse domain name hijacking?

WIPO panelist drops the ball in RDNH decision.

A single member World Intellectual Property Organization panel has denied a UDRP complaint against the domain name alessandro.com, but failed to find the complainant guilty of reverse domain name hijacking.

Frankly, I’m stunned that panelist Pablo A. Palazzi did not find beauty products company Alessandro International GmbH to have brought the case in bad faith, and his rationale contradicts the facts of the case.

Alessandro International GmbH filed the complaint against Alessandro Gualandi of New York. Yes, the respondent’s name is Alessandro, and he registered his first name as a domain name.

The arguments made by the complainant are stunning: Click here to continue reading…

LeadPages is a Reverse Domain Name Hijacker

WIPO panel finds that lead generation technology company abused UDRP.

A three person World Intellectual Property Organization panel has found the company behind LeadPages.net to have engaged in reverse domain name hijacking in a cybersquatting complaint.

Avenue 81, Inc., which offers lead generation software and tools at LeadPages.net, filed a cybersquatting complaint against Karl Payne, the owner of LeadPages.com.

Payne registered the .com domain name in 2004. LeadPages.net was formed and its domain name registered in late 2012. Obviously, they chose the .net domain name because the .com was taken.

After first trying to acquire the domain name for as much as $15,000, LeadPages.net filed the complaint with WIPO. The company argued that, since his most recent renewal of the domain name, Payne had switched the use of the domain name from inactive to promoting a service to take advantage of misguided traffic. Click here to continue reading…

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

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…

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

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.