Obscure clothing company wins fbomb.com in arbitration.
In January I wrote about an ongoing auction at Sedo for the domain name Fbomb.com. Here’s what I wrote:
“FBomb.com – $1,500 – so many uses”
There are so many uses because of the generic meaning of f-bomb.
So I was surprised to notice a few weeks later that fbomb.com was in arbitration at National Arbitration Forum. I contact the owner who told me that the company that won the domain at Sedo filed for arbitration.
Here’s what happened:
1. The complainant owned fbomb.com and used it to sell sportswear for extreme sports. He let the domain expire.
2. The respondent won fbomb.com at a GoDaddy auction. He no doubt was attracted to the wildly popular generic term.
3. Having acquired this great generic domain name, the respondent offered it for sale.
4. The complainant, realizing he’d let the domain expire, tried to buy it. Although the details written in the decision are somewhat murky, it appears that he placed a $1,500 offer for the domain at Sedo. The respondent sent the domain to auction, where complainant won it for $4,101.
5. Upset about having to pay so much for his mistake, the complainant filed a UDRP.
There may be more to it, but this is how I interpret the panel’s decision.
But the arbitrator, who had probably never heard the term f-bomb before, seemed to think that this small clothing outfit in California had established a secondary meaning for the term. (The respondent probably didn’t know this, since there were no trademarks filed.) That’s like me starting a clothing line in Austin called LOL and claiming rights to the domain LOL.com.
Here’s one choice line from the arbitrator:
Respondent allegedly registered the fbomb.com domain name on [the day it expired], and immediately began offering it for sale. The Panel finds that this further evidences Respondent’s lack of rights and legitimate interests.
Gasp! Someone bought a generic domain name and immediately started offering it for sale. How dare they!