Company wins great domain name at UDRP just two weeks after being found guilty of reverse domain name hijacking.
Just two week ago, financial firm Versa Capital Management was found guilty of reverse domain name hijacking (RDNH) by an arbitration panel when it tried to get the domain name VersaCapital.com. But Versa Capital and its lawyers are high-fiving now that they picked up an even better domain, Versa.com, at arbitration.
This answers one of the questions of why companies bring frivolous cases. There’s no penalty for losing, and a lot to gain for winning.
In the Versa.com case the domain owner didn’t respond to the complaint. Perhaps his whois information was wrong or he was on vacation. But that allowed Versa Capital Management to make its allegations without any sort of defense, and it walked away with the domain. Frankly, even without a response this decision should have been in favor of the respondent.
VersaCapital.com was registered well before Versa Capital Management came into existence. Versa.com was also registered well before — in 1994 — but its ownership changed hands after the company was formed. Versa Capital has only been around since 2007 and only has an intent-to-use trademark filed with USPTO. But National Arbitration Forum arbitrator Louis E. Condon decided that Versa Capital had common law rights to the term Versa:
Complainant can and has sufficiently established common law rights in the VERSA mark by showing that its mark has established secondary meaning through its continuous use in conjunction with unsolicited media attention.
It’s preposterous to suggest the respondent had Versa Capital Management in mind when it acquired the domain name. A simple Google search for “Versa” shows a number of companies and products, including a Nissan car, a valve company, and a Verizon phone. But Versa Capital is nowhere to be found on the first page.
In Condon’s world, any one of these companies using the term could have grabbed it at UDRP. The decision mentioned nothing of competing pay-per-click links on the site; only generic links.
You can read the decision here.
Hat tip to UDRPsearch.com.