Hayward, California domain name given to pool company.
Here’s a domain name dispute that should make geo domain owners’ blood boil.
A three person World Intellectual Property Organization has awarded the domain name Hayward.com to pool company Hayward Industries.
The domain name is owned by Chad Wright, a domain investor known for owning popular California city .coms. Hayward is a city in the San Francisco Bay area.
Hayward Industries convinced the panel that the parked domain name at Hayward.com showed links for the pool company and its competitors. But a look at archived screenshots of the domain doesn’t show anything related to the pool company. Instead, it has links to “airline tickets”, “hotels”, and “employment”.
So how did Hayward Industries get these competing links to show up on the site? Well, you can always perform a search on the domain for “hayward”. You could also do that on any other domain, for that matter.
Worse, the WIPO panel of Douglas M. Isenberg, W. Scott Blackmer and David H. Bernstein, decided how much geo domain names should be worth. Wright bought the domain name for $20,000, and listed it in an auction for $100,000. Apparently this is too much to pay for a city geo domain name based on the city value alone:
Finally, the Panel finds it informative – though not decisive – that, according to documents in the record, Respondent purchased the domain name hayward.com for USD$20,000 and was attempting to sell it for at least USD$100,000. These figures would seem to indicate that Respondent saw some value in this domain name for reasons other than its existence as the name of the city of Hayward, California – with a population of only about 150,000 people, according to the city’s website – and for purposes other than as a PPC parking page (which, in the normal course, would not be expected to earn a return to justify such a rich investment)
Hmm. Palm Springs has a population of less than 50,000. I think I’ll ask the Castello bothers to sell it to me for less than $100,000.