Thursday, May 16th, 2013
Complainant had a weak case but panelist determines it’s not reverse domain name hijacking.
WIPO just handed down decisions for two cases involving domains used for selling contact lenses in Mexico.
David Guerra Flores filed the cases against Carlos Perez for pupilentes.com.mx and pupilentes.com. Both cases were resolved by panelist Reynaldo Urtiaga Escobar, who determined that Flores did not prove that Perez lacked rights or legitimate interests in the domain names.
However, the panelist failed to find Flores guilty of reverse domain name hijacking, suggesting that perhaps Flores felt some vindication when he “overturned” a trademark Perez had for Pupilentes.
Maybe that’s how Flores felt, but the facts in this case are rather disturbing.
Flores says he came up with the idea for a contact lens site called Pupilentes way back in 2002, but his plan to use the name was “thwarted” by the respondent when the respondent registered the domains in 2003.
As a result, Flores says he was forced to register alternative domains such as 01800pupilentes.com, mispupilentes.net, and pupilente.com.
OK, first thing — the guy was “thwarted” when the respondent registered the domains and had no idea that Flores was concocting his idea?
Second thing — All of the domains Flores claims he had to register as alternatives weren’t even registered until 2008 or later. Did it take him 6 years to bring his idea to fruition?
All of the alternative domains forward to Pupilentes.mx, which itself wasn’t registered until 2009.
Meanwhile, Perez was using the domains he registered for a contact lens site, according to the decision.
I think panelist Escobar was just a bit gun-shy to find a case of reverse domain name hijacking. Or perhaps his contacts were a little blurry while he was writing his decision.