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No Double Jeopardy for Domain Name Case

Companies loses second attempt to acquire domain name GetMore.com through domain arbitration.

I was wrong.

In January of this year I wrote an article “Domain Arbitration Doesn’t ‘Get More’ Crazy Than This” about a UDRP case for the domain GetMore.com.

The title of the article was wrong, because this case just became even more crazy. The complainant, which lost the case, refiled a case with World Intellectual Property Organization claiming that it has acquired new evidence against the respondent. In other words, it attempted to try the respondent for the same alleged crime twice.

There was no crime to begin with. A Danish company using GetMore.dk realized it also needed the .com and tried to swipe it from the owner via arbitration because the owner was asking “too much”. It failed.

The complainant failed in its second attempt, too. The arbitrator decided that the complainant hadn’t introduced any evidence in its second attempt that it could not have acquired before its first filing. (The complainant has unlimited time to gather evidence before filing a case, even though the respondent has only a short window.)

The additional evidence amounted to a prior blog post by the respondent saying he made money from domain names, and some sort of alleged connection between the respondent and a parking service. The arbitrator pointed out that this was immaterial as stated and should have been included in the original complaint.

The arbitrator also said that if cases like this were allowed to proceed, then the UDRP system would be flooded with refiled cases. This would also require domain owners to spend lots of money defending cases over and over.

But here’s the rub: even though the arbitrator decided not to hear this case again, the domain owner still had to respond. I propose that refiled cases are first sent to an arbitrator that decides if they should be reheard before sending the complaint to the respondent.

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