Wirecard nailed for Reverse Domain Name Hijacking

Big payments company abused UDRP policy to try to get valuable domain name for cheap.

Publicly traded payments company Wirecard AG has been found to have engaged in reverse domain name hijacking over the domain name Boon.com.

The company, which has a market capitalization of 4.37 billion euros, filed a UDRP after failing to acquire the domain name Boon.com for a future payments services brand.

In its complaint, Wirecard mentioned that it has been around since 1999 and had 2013 turnover of about a half billion euros. What it failed to mention, Click here to continue reading…

University of Florida gets FloridaGators.com…18 years later

Site owner changed use to one about alligators after receiving cease & desist letter.

The University of Florida will soon own the domain name FloridaGators.com after winning a cybersquatting dispute.

The domain name was registered by a Florida man as far back as 1997, 18 years ago.

For years, it was a site about the University of Florida’s sports teams. Here’s a screenshot from Screenshots.com from a couple years ago: Click here to continue reading…

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…

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.