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CrapShoot: Man Rolls Dice on Casinos.org

Man files UDRP for domain name Casinos.org.

To be fair, it was early this morning that I first saw an arbitration filing for the domain name Casinos.org at WIPO.

I rubbed my eyes. This must be a joke, right? Perhaps there was more to the story, I thought. I looked up the history of the domain, and it appears to be owned by the same person for a couple years. Something just didn’t seem right.

I emailed the owner of the domain to ask him what was going on. It’s no joke, he said. Someone had filed to get the generic domain name Casinos.org from him.

According to WIPO’s domain dispute database, the complainant is “Rimbault”. What’s his claim to the domain Casinos.org? Well, he owns a decidedly inferior domain name: C-a-s-i-n-o-s.org.

And here’s one of the big problems with UDRP as it stands today. Even though this claim seems dubious at best, the owner of Casinos.org is going to have to spend a few thousand dollars to defend the domain. Surely, we could at least add a financial penalty if a complainant is found of reverse domain name hijacking?

The owner wrote to me, “It’s going to cost me about 2-3k to defend from an idiot who owns c-a-s-i-n-o-s.org, a domain worth less the 1 cent.”

He said he could probably defend the case himself, but it’s not worth taking any chances.

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  1. Troy

    The lack of balls that is shown in UDRP cases is really going to come back to bite them in the butt. As long as they refuse to apply financial penalties for scummy crap like this they are going to become more and more swamped with baseless accusations and attempts at reverse hijacking.

    Please, make an example out of this scumball.

  2. JB

    c-a-s-i-n-o-s.org lol

    Coffee through the nose. I needed a good laugh today. Knowing that this idiot is out 750+$ is enlightening.

  3. FX

    There is 2 more cases rolling through UDRP of an idiot with a domain name with double dashes trying to reverse highjack 2 domains to upgrade himself.

  4. Johnny

    If a fee is not instituted at some point for losing Complainants, then the NAF and WIPO will become a joke and they might see their services revoked at some point through legislation or lawsuit.

    The other alternative is to impose a fee and take on less business (which NAF and WIPO don’t want) and create a system that can stand the test of time for all the parties involved.

  5. Helder

    This is getting ridiculous, one thing is trademark protection, another is some greedy assholes wanting to steal generic domains.

    No one has the right to exclusivity on a word or phrases from a language, no matter which language

    UDRP should not even allow this kind of complaints, when it’s a generic domain, they should simply deny it

  6. FX

    David, its not a smart advice telling domain holders to file their own response. Unless of course you’re a ridiculous case such as c-a-s-i-n-o-s.org.

    We see a lot of purchase emails on a regular basis and one of the newest replys we’ve been seeing lately is, “your price is too high, we gonna take it up with ICANN”

    rolling the dice in a UDRP is the newest IT game in town.

  7. David J Castello

    FX:
    I did it myself and easily won (and the Complainant had a trademark). I found that disproving Bad Faith was fairly easy. I think that any domainer who looks at the response form will know if they feel qualified to answer. It’s definitely not rocket science, but I agree with you that for most domainers it should be an easy case before they do it themselves. Mine wasn’t, but I knew I had the paper trail and evidence to easily disprove Bad Faith – so I saved the legal expenses and had a great experience. The Complainant responded back to my Response with a bunch of nonsense and I enjoyed unraveling his ridiculous strategy.

    • Andrew Allemann

      David, I assume the case you’re talking about is the guy who contacted me out of the blue a few months ago complaining that you mentioned the case on DNW. I believe he called you something like a “sore loser cybersquatter” or something like that 🙂

  8. casinos.org

    He’s basically going two routes, one I violate his trademark (lol) and the other is that I’m a cybersquatter / bad faith as I haven’t put a full site on the domain and I wanted a high price for the domain when he asked to buy it as I asked for more money then what his sedo valuation said.

    I haven’t had the email from WIPO yet and haven’t had one of these before – so will see what the email says and go from there.

  9. Philip Corwin

    This case is a good illustration of exactly why we need an open, transparent, and inclusive process for comprehensive UDRP reform that responds to the problems faced by all parties.

    Instead, ICANN gives us the closed, opaque, and excluding IRT process in which the trademark interests get to propose a new Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) process that will displace the UDRP at new gTLDs and which they would love to then retroactively impose on .,com and other incumbent gTLDs — and which does nothing to fix registrant concerns about the UDRP.

    ICA’s message to ICANN in Sydney will be to hit delete on the IRT Report and reboot the process with a fresh and fair approach.

  10. Patrick McDermott

    Heider says: “This is getting ridiculous, one thing is trademark protection, another is some greedy assholes wanting to steal generic domains.”

    Philip Corwin says: “This case is a good illustration of exactly why we need… comprehensive UDRP reform…”

    The UDRP filings are really becoming ridiculous and it just seems to be getting worse.

    It’s been discussed here before on DNW that someone will register a design trademark that contains one or more generic keywords and then file a UDRP claiming a TM infringement based on those generic keywords.

    It’s quite clear that many UDRP filings have nothing to do with TM protection but a whole lot to do with trying to “steal” a domain(s)
    through the arbitration process.

    Reform is certainly needed.

    Penalties for bogus claims are needed.

    Why can’t there be something similar to
    “Summary Judgment” used in court filings?

    I’m not a lawyer so I may not be using the correct term.

    What I mean is in a response to a UDRP there must be some provision for a domain holder to request that the Panel not even allow the case to go forward on the basis of no merit.

    Casinos.org would be a prime example of a UDRP case deserving such relief.

  11. Dave Zan

    apply financial penalties

    One problem here, though, is how to enforce a monetary judgment against someone who’s in a different country. It might be easier with NAF if especially both parties are U.S.-based, although they’re designed to mediate disputes while not letting a party collect money from it. (that’s what courts are for…)

    It’s been mentioned before. But if you allow a respondent to get a monetary judgment from a frivolous complaint, then it’s only fair a so-called legitimate complainant who wins also collects money from the cybersquatting respondent, isn’t it?

    It does suck having to spend against a frivolous complaint, especially if they’re not within one’s reach. But we live in a world where some covet what others have, and we practically have to defend our claims against such people.

  12. Karen Bernstein

    I totally agree with those about the reverse domain hijacking situation. Reverse domain hijacking carries no penalty for the domainer who is in the business of registering domains. In federal court, a lawyer can be punished for bringing a frivilous lawsuit and the plaintiff can be assessed the defendant’s attorney’s fees. The UDRP system needs to be reformed here; otherwise, there’s no teeth in just saying, “oh, by the way, there reverse domain hijacking here.” It accomplishes absolutely nothing.

    I think the main problem is that US trademark lawyers think that US trademark law should apply when in fact it’s the Policy that governs and there are many differences. By the way, for one domain name the NAF charges $1,300 to file a complaint and the respondent pays nothing IF they submit to only one arbitrator/panelist. Almost always a bad idea. Otherwise, if the domainer wants to have a “fair” hearing with three minds deciding rather than one it costs $1,300 per domain name.

  13. David

    Even more bullying than threats to file a WIPO/NAF case are serious threats from big law firms to file a Federal Court Lawsuit. We had a couple of those recently and understand it’s a recent tactic being used to intimidate domainers to surrender their names. It seems to be especially popular if the attorney feels his client would not win under UDRP rules.

  14. Casinos.PH for Sale

    That’s ridiculous for the domain name complaint to be accepted, there is just no reasonable basis for an infringement claim in this situation. All the best of luck to the owner of Casino.ORG – this casino domain name should fetch the owner at least US$10M.

  15. Casinos PH

    that’s good that the complainant lost the case. It must be a HUGE relief to the owner of CASINOS.org – I wish him the best and believe that he will fetch a good price for Casinos org really soon.

  16. civy

    please start a charity campaign for the costs of the process, this has to been stopped and set a big sign!

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