Displaying posts tagged under "reverse domain name hijacking"
Company that uses MyUnidays.com tries to hijack Unidays.com.
UK company MYUNiDAYS, which offers products at a discount to college students under the UNiDAYS brand, has been found guilty of reverse domain name hijacking in a cybersquatting case.
The company uses MyUnidays.com for its web address and filed a cybersquatting UDRP complaint against Unidays.com.
UNiDAYS launched in 2011 and obviously chose the MyUnidays.com domain name because Unidays.com was already registered. The current registrant of the domain has owned the domain name since 2007.
UNiDAYS made multiple offers to purchase the domain name but was unsuccessful. It then filed the dispute with World Intellectual Property Organization.
Because Unidays.com was registered by the current owner prior to UNiDAYS even existing, it was impossible for it to claim that the domain name was registered in bad faith. Thus, the three person panel found UNiDAYS guilty of reverse domain name hijacking:
In the view of the Panel this is a Complaint which should never have been launched. The Complainant knew that the Domain Name was registered nearly 6 years before the Complainant came into existence, let alone when it acquired any rights in the UNIDAYS Mark. It made two offers to purchase the Domain Name, and following the rejection of those offers and the registration of the UNIDAYS Mark, chose to bring this Complaint.
The complainant was represented by Actons Solicitors and the domain name was defended by John Berryhill.
Company filed UDRP case even though the domain names at issue were not registered in bad faith.
South African firm Cobb International has been found guilty of reverse domain name hijacking in a UDRP decision at World Intellectual Property Organization.
Cobb International filed a UDRP for the domain names CobbQ.com and CobbAmerica.com against Chris Holloway, Cobb Depot, Inc., Advanced Outdoor Concepts, Inc in Florida.
The respondent in the case was a distributor for the complainant and registered the domain names in that capacity. The distributorship ended in 2013, at which point the complainant wanted the respondent to hand over the domain names.
The case failed because the respondent clearly didn’t register the domain names in bad faith. Even if it used them in bad faith, its original registration was in good faith to help sell Cobb products through its business. The UDRP requires that the domain names were registered in bad faith.
Cobb International cited another case that it won against a former distributor. Although the circumstances were similar, it was for a .au domain name. The .au policy differs from the main UDRP because it requires only bad faith use, not bad faith registration and use.
This is where the reverse domain name hijacking comes in. When Cobb International submitted its case, its counsel DM Kisch Inc. modified the heading in the UDRP template for “Registered and used in bad faith” to just “Used in bad faith.” Panelist Tony Willoughby found this, along with other issues, to be grounds for reverse domain name hijacking.
The Panel doubts that a firm as distinguished as the Complainant’s representative would intentionally seek to abuse this administrative proceeding, but it is nonetheless the fact that the person responsible for drafting the Complaint worked from the online form available at the Center’s website and went to the trouble of changing the template heading as described in Section 5A above to omit any reference to bad faith registration. Why?
Even when given a chance to submit more information, Cobb International didn’t provide any evidence that the domain was registered in bad faith.
While distributorship agreements should include language around domain names, I don’t know if any was included in this case. Even if it was, such a clause is not grounds for a cybersquatting claim under UDRP.
Company filed dispute against domain name clearly being used for another legitimate purpose.
Pharmaceuticals and biotech business RPG Life Sciences Ltd. of Mumbai has been found guilty of reverse domain name hijacking in a domain name dispute.
World Intellectual Property Organization panelist Nicholas Weston found that RPG Life Sciences had filed a UDRP in bad faith in an attempt to get the domain name RPGlife.com. The domain name is owned by a Wisconsin man who used the domain name to forward to a role playing game websites. RPG is a common acronym that stands for “role playing game”.
Despite this obvious use, RPG Life Sciences argued that the domain owner registered the domain in bad faith and that he had no rights or legitimate interests in the domain name.
On the issue of whether or not someone could be confused by the domain name and and pharma company, Weston wrote (here):
Applying a very conservative standard, the Panel shall refer to as the “idiot in a hurry” test, not even an idiot in a hurry could be misled that neither the Respondent’s website, nor the website it resolves to, is in any way connected with the Complainant.
On the issue of RDNH, Weston writes:
…the Panel considers that the Complainant’s professional representative should have appreciated, even on a rudimentary examination of the Policy and its application in this area, that the Complaint could not succeed where the Respondent’s Disputed Domain Name is a widely recognized acronym and is being used to promote goods and services available for purchase in that field, as it had no reasonable hope of meeting the conjunctive requirement of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.
…Finally, it should also be said that it was the Complainant who, on no evidence at all, accused the Respondent of acting in bad faith and that there was “no plausible explanation” as to the Respondent’s use (and presumably choice) of the Disputed Domain Name. That, itself, is an act of bad faith and is part of the reason why the Panel has made the finding of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking. Such allegations should not be made lightly or without cogent evidence to support them and certainly not where, after obtaining instructions, it must have been apparent to the Complainant that no such allegation could properly be made against the Respondent. Indeed, in a curious inversion of the roles of the Complainant and the Respondent, it was the Complainant who tendered evidence that the Respondent’s website was ostensibly concerned with Role Playing Games and activities associated with it and hence entirely legitimate and in good faith.
The complainant was represented by Anand & Anand.
Dental company went after domain name used by Korean dentist.
A three person WIPO panel has found JJGC Industria E Comercio de Materiais Dentarios S.A. of Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil, guilty of reverse domain name hijacking.
The company, which specializes in dental implants, filed its case over the domain name NeoDent.com. It uses the domain name NeoDent.com.br.
NeoDent.com is owned by someone in Korea who actually uses the domain name for a dental practice called NEO Dental Clinic. The domain name was registered in 2002.
The complainant failed to mention this use by the respondent in its complaint, instead pleading that the respondent has never been known by this name:
According to the Response, the Respondent has operated a dental clinic under the name NEO Dental Clinic since 2002. The Respondent has provided evidence of public use of the Neodent name (in English as well as Korean), which is something the Complainant could and should have verified prior to submission of the Complaint with an allegation, quoted in Section 5.B above, that the Respondent has never been known by the disputed domain name, and its pleading is misleading to the point of attempting to deceive the Panel. This alone has been held grounds for finding RDNH.
That’s one of the reasons the panel found JJGC Industria E Comercio de Materiais Dentarios S.A. guilty of abusing the UDRP process.
More complainants than ever were found guilty of trying to steal domain names using UDRP.
2013 saw a record number of UDRP complainants found guilty of “Reverse Domain Name Hijacking,” which is essentially using the UDRP in bad faith to attempt to obtain a domain name.
As of the middle of last month, 24 complainants had been found guilty of abusing the UDRP.
Nat Cohen has a lengthy article explaining why the number may have spiked in 2013.
One hypothesis is that, since some arbitration panelists have started to twist the language of UDRP, complainants are “rolling the dice” and hoping to get lucky with one of these panelists.
It has long been held that a complainant has to prove that a domain was registered in bad faith. But some panelists have shifted this to also include “renewed” in bad faith.
That would mean that if a company started in 2014, it might be able to make a claim on a domain you registered in 1994!
UDRP was designed to tackle clear-cut cases of cybersquatting. Obviously, unless you’re psychic, that domain you registered 20 years ago wasn’t registered to cybersquat on a company that didn’t exist yet.
Although it’s unfortunate that so many complainants are trying to take advantage of UDRP, it’s also good news that some panelists are willing to call them out on it.