Expired domain that sold for $166,000 slapped with arbitration filing.
Shoppers.com expired last month and was picked up by Pool. Auction winner Xedoc Holding SA forked over $166,000 for the domain, but is that now at risk?
An arbitration request under UDRP was filed with National Arbitration Forum on February 14 for the domain. I’m not sure who filed the complaint, but a little snooping gives some ideas. One idea is the previous owner of the domain may be going after it. Another possibility is Cnet, which owns Shopper.com. I found an abandoned trademark for Shoppers.com that was filed in 1999 by Shoppers, Inc, but that seems like a long shot.
Xedoc Holdings didn’t respond to requests for comment. Post a comment if you know anything about this case.
Here are a couple other interesting cases right now:
GoogleAdwords.com: Google (GOOG) finally got around to filing a complaint on GoogleAdwords.com on January 31. This is a slam dunk case for Google, so I was curious why it took them so long to file. Google spokesperson Jon Murchinson told me “We seek to recover domain names that are likely to confuse users into thinking that sites are authorized by Google. Our first step is to contact the domain registrant to express our concerns and seek a voluntary transfer of the domain name. In this case we tried to contact the registrant several times to no avail and as a result filed an UDRP arbitration.”
In other words, after trying to play nice Google had no choice. Looking at the whois records on this domain, it appears the “owner” changed details frequently.
The irony is that the domain had been monetized through DomainSponsor, which uses a Google advertising feed. You won’t see those ads there anymore, though. Murchinson said, “Google follows the same policies for Adsense for Domains (AFD) that contain Google trademarks that apply to other trademark owners. When we become aware of domains in the AFD program that contain our trademarks and that appear likely to confuse users, we block those domains from the AFD program.”
Ace.us: Here’s another confusing one that I can’t figure out. Someone filed a complaint for Ace.us last month. The Ace.us site is for a product called Auction Ace from a company called Ace. The site shows that Ace is a registered trademark of the owner. The owner of Ace.us also owns Ace.com. So why is someone going after .us, not .com? And who is it? Post a comment if you know anything, otherwise I’ll update when the decision is posted.