Major.com UDRP denied, but no RDNH

A UDRP for a major domain name.

Major.comA single member World Intellectual Property Organization panel has denied a UDRP filed by Major Wire Industries Limited against the owner of Major.com. Panelist Christopher S. Gibson declined to find reverse domain name hijacking, though.

Major Wire Industries has been around since the 1800s, and decided to go after Major.com some 130 years after it was founded (and 20 years after Major.com was first registered).

The company tried to buy the domain name, but didn’t approve of the $115,000 price tag on the valuable domain name. I found its claim around this rather amusing:

A representative of Complainant then successfully contacted a representative of Respondent to inquire about acquiring the Domain Name. Respondent, through its representative, Sergei Arsentiev, then offered to sell the Domain Name for USD 115,000. Complainant states that Respondent did not provide a breakdown of this fee or any explanations as to why the requested amount was so high. Complainant has estimated that the out-of-pocket costs directly related to the Domain Name are USD 30 per year, meaning that since registration, Respondent would only have spent USD 150 for the Domain Name.

Hmm, let’s see. Why could Major.com’s price be “so high”? The complainant already argued that the current domain owner wasn’t the original, so the argument that “respondent would only have spend USD 150 for the Domain Name” doesn’t hold water. Click here to continue reading…

Paris Hilton wins case to take down sex video site

Arbitration panel sides with celebrity in domain name dispute.

Paris HiltonSocialite Paris Hilton has won a cybersquatting case she filed against the owner of a site that offered her sex tapes.

Hilton filed the case with World Intellectual Property Organization against the owner of parishiltonpornvideos.com last year. The decision was just handed down in her favor.

Unless the owner of the site files a lawsuit, that means the domain name will be transferred to Hilton within ten days of the decision. Until then, the site remains NSFW.

This isn’t the first time Paris Hilton has asked the World Intellectual Property Organization for help taking down domain names that use her name. However, it is the first to involve a site containing her sex tapes. Hilton and her management firm have filed 9 previous cases, and all have resulted in the domain names being transferred to her control.

(Photo: © Glenn Francis, www.PacificProDigital.com)

Gucci wins 182 domain names in a UDRP

Gucci wins a lot of domain names in a UDRP decision.

GucciItalian design firm Guccio Gucci S.p.A. has won 182 domain names in a UDRP.

It’s one of the highest number of domain names I’ve seen transferred in a single UDRP, although there have certainly been larger cases.

The case was filed against Brian E. Nielsen of “Boise, New York”. There doesn’t appear to be a city of Boise in New York, and Gucci claimed the whois information was bogus. It also alleged that some of the domain names were used to sell competitors’ goods. Whomever actually owns the domain names did not bother to respond to the case.

All of the domain names followed the pattern GucciBy____jp.org, such as guccibyhabitjp.org, guccibyhelmetjp.org and guccibyillustratejp.org.

The full decision is published on World Intellectual Property Organization’s website.

Standard & Poor’s loses domain name dispute

Financial services company and rating agency can’t have “boycott” domain name, panel rules.

Standard and PoorsStandard & Poor’s has lost a UDRP against the domain name BoycottStandardandPoors.com at World Intellectual Property Organization.

The domain name owner argued that he’s exercising his first amendment rights by owning the “gripe” style domain name.

The panel determined that the domain name could be used as a gripe site and be protected, so it denied Standard & Poor’s request to transfer the domain name.

But the panel’s wording – and the brevity of its decision – is rather interesting.

Consider that the domain owner registered the domain name in 2011, but hasn’t done anything with it. The panel gave the benefit of the doubt on whether or not he did not have rights/legitimate interests in the domain name:

As Respondent conceivably could use the domain name at issue in a manner that would not constitute bad faith registration and use, and as the domain name at issue has yet to be used to resolve to a web site, Complainant has failed to establish that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name at issue.

The section for Registered and Used In Bad Faith is also peculiar. The three person panel says the complaint was brought prematurely “Since it is conceivable that Respondent could use the domain name in such a way that Respondent did not seek to profit from the good will attached to Complainant’s family of marks.” The panel then notes that S&P can file another UDRP should the domain owner use the domain name in bad faith.

It’s rare that a panel considers what is conceivable, and it’s surprising they didn’t address the lack of progress in turning the domain into a non-commercial website.

I’m not saying the panel got it wrong, it’s just that the full decision is rather interesting. I think some panels would have found differently.

.Axis TLD appears dead after WIPO decision

WIPO decides not to accept late response to objection.

World Intellectual Property Organization has made a determination that it will not accept a late response to a Legal Rights Objection against .axis, thereby effectively killing off Saudi Telecom Company’s bid for the top level domain.

Axis Communications AB filed the objection against the .axis application. Saudi Telecom then submitted its response to the objection too late.

This resulted in ICANN Ombudsman Chris LaHatte getting involved. He issued an opinion to ICANN’s board, requesting that the Board ask WIPO to reconsider its stance of strictly adhering to the deadlines. LaHatte wrote that accepting the response to the objection “is a fairer result, than letting the [applicant’s] effort over a number of years and the considerable expenditure be wasted by a formalistic approach to the time deadline.”

The board then contacted WIPO, which in turn asked ICANN if it wanted WIPO to accept the response or not. ICANN wouldn’t say; It said it just wanted WIPO to come to a determination.

As it related to LaHatte’s opinion, WIPO notes:

…contrary to what is stated in the ICANN Ombudsman’s report, the LRO procedure, including notably the sanction introduced in Article 11(g) of the Procedure, was not established by the WIPO Center but by ICANN. Also contrary to what is stated in the report, the WIPO Center had neither at that time refused the Applicant’s response, nor accepted it, but had rather suspended action in the proceeding to seek guidance from ICANN. The WIPO Center has further noted that the report indicates that for the purpose of the report the Ombudsman contacted the Applicant, and that the report makes no mention of contact with the other party.

WIPO says it informed Saudi Telecom multiple times of the deadline. At the end of the day, the “WIPO Center simply finds insufficient basis to accept the late-filed response”.

Unlike in a UDRP, with a Legal Rights Objection the failure to respond results in an automatic win for the objector. This means .axis is effectively dead unless ICANN takes the matter up again. No other companies applied for .axis.

The only other Legal Rights Objection that had been hanging out there was .zone, filed by AutoZone against Donuts. AutoZone ended up terminating its objection. I have no doubt it would have lost its objection.

The final result from Legal Rights Objections: Objectors won 5 cases (if you include .axis), Applicants won 59, and 5 cases were terminated.