Famous domain investor wins UDRP and RDNH charge.
Kevin Ham’s company Vertical Axis has won a charge for Reverse Domain Name Hijacking (RDNH) against The Realty Alliance, Inc.
The Realty Alliance, Inc. filed a UDRP case against Vertical Axis for the domain name RealtyAlliance.com. In its case, Reality Alliance claimed it had trademark rights in “Realty Alliance” because it was incorporated in Delaware in 1997 and registered with Texas Secretary of State in 2006.
The arbitration panel found that The Realty Alliance did not have any common law trademark rights in the name:
As stated by the Respondent, the only evidence relied upon by the Complainant in support of its assertion that it has “employed the Mark continuously and conspicuously throughout the country and internationally since 1997â€ is a 1997 news article announcing the formation of an alliance of real estate brokers under that name.
Indeed, the complainant’s failure to even set forth basic evidence of a common law trademark resulted in a finding of RDNH by the panel:
From the failure of the Complainant to put forward any evidence that the alleged mark has been used by the Complainant in such a way as to become distinctive of its services the Panel infers that the Complainant was aware, when it filed the Complaint, that there is no such evidence. It follows that this Complaint was brought in bad faith in an attempt to harass the Respondent and that; accordingly, the Complainant has attempted to engage in Reverse Domain Name Hijacking.
Vertical Axis was represented by Ari Goldberger, of Esqwire.com Law Firm. The panelists on the case were The Hon. Neil Brown QC, Judge James A. Carmody and Alan L. Limbury Esq.