“Sorely misguided” complainant loses bid for Fired.com.
[This is the second Domain Dunce award for 2008. See the first one for Verizon.] What do you do if you want a domain that’s already registered and you don’t want to pay for it? Furthermore, you have no chance of winning a UDRP arbitration because the domain was registered years before your first use of the domain? And the domain is generic? And it isn’t infringing on your brand?
According to World2Work, you go ahead and file a UDRP.
I read through many UDRP domain name cases this year, and Fired.com may take the cake for most egregious attempt to steal a domain name. World2Work, founded by Scott Sargis, operates Fired.tv. It wanted Fired.com, so Sargis enlisted his lawyer John Franczyk to go after the domain. They believed that they should get the domain because the current owner hadn’t used it yet.
The arbitration panel found that World2Work didn’t fulfill the first requirement of an arbitration case (that the domain was confusingly similar to its trademark) so it didn’t even consider the other two requirements. It’s rare that a case doesn’t even pass the first hurdle.
The panel said Sargis and Franczyk were “sorely misguided” in their understanding of trademarks and domain names.
By the way, Fired.com’s owner has put it up for sale.
I think the overwhelming majority of people are sorely misguided when it comes to domain name “rights”. Just looking at some of the comments in our recent posts about trademark rights and user accounts or even the writer in the recent Fast Company article.
Would be great to allow fired.com to recouperate legal fees from World2Work in situations like this.
Domain Offerings says
Excellent, so even if the trademark was registered before the domain it still would not have passed the first criteria, correct? Now I have a precedence to show all the juveniles on forums that jump on everything as trademark violation.
Andrew Allemann says
@ Domain Offerings – in this case yet, but most of the time I see panels say it was confusingly similar. Most of them just punt on the confusingly similar argument if it is similar.
In this case I think the panel decided the case was so crazy, and that the complainant wasn’t widely known by its Trademark.