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MediaWhiz Nailed for Reverse Domain Name Hijacking

Online advertising company loses case and is reprimanded by arbitrator.

MediaWhizNew York based online advertising company MediaWhiz has been found guilty of attempted reverse domain name hijacking of the MediaWiz.biz domain name.

MediaWhiz’s arbitration case was doomed from the start based on the date of its trademark and when the MediaWiz.biz domain was registered. The company was awarded a trademark in 2006, claiming first use in 2002. Not only was it for only a graphical mark, but the respondent’s domain name was registered in 2001. On that basis alone, MediaWhiz would have lost the case unless it proved that the Indian company behind MediaWiz.biz was psychic.

It didn’t help MediaWhiz’s case that the respondent’s domain name has been used for many years, and its web site clearly states the company has been around since 1995.

In finding reverse domain name hijacking against MediaWhiz Holdings, domain arbitrator Sebastian Hughes wrote:

Indeed, this is not a case where the Complainant simply failed to conduct reasonable investigations. The facts of this case suggest that it should have been apparent to the Complainant, on the basis of its own investigations, that it could not reasonably succeed in bringing a complaint under the Policy, particularly given the lack of distinctiveness of the words “Media Wiz” when used in respect of marketing services, and the likelihood that other traders in countries where English is commonly spoken and used in business, such as India, might choose to use such a name in respect of their legitimate business.

Faced with evidence immediately apparent on the home page of the Website that the Respondent, MediaWiz Services Private Limited, had been established under the name “MediaWiz” since 1995, and knowing that its rights in respect of the name “Media Whiz” went back to, at the earliest, 2002, the Complainant nonetheless chose to commence this proceeding in circumstances where its odds of success, should the Respondent choose to contest the proceeding, were miniscule (sic).

Domain attorney John Berryhill represented the respondent.

Another relevant question: How much traffic does MediaWhiz lose to MediaWiz.com, a home theater company?

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  1. John Berryhill says

    Good question at the end, Andrew. The New York company decided to go after an Indian company because they thought they could simply roll someone who was not well informed about the process.

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