Loser in arbitration case makes his case — publicly.
Author Barbara Kingsolver has won a case at National Arbitration Forum for the domain name Kingsolver.com. The soon-to-be-former owner of the domain name is none too pleased.
He has posted a tirade about the case at Kingsolver.com (warning: explicit), which will exist until his registrar has to hand the domain name over to Kingsolver on April 29.
Kingsolver’s agent forgot to renew the domain name and it was later auctioned on NameJet. The buyer sold it to the current owner of the domain, who was then hit with the UDRP.
The owner says he bought it for his computer company, and that he had never heard of Barbara Kingsolver before the complaint:
I have NEVER in my life heard about this person, I swear on my children. I asked many of my friends last week (many of them are from the USA) and they never heard about this person either.
Unfortunately, the owner had yet to change the nameservers on the domain name after purchasing it, so it still resolved to a parked page showing ads related to Kingsolver’s books.
Panelist John J. Upchurch found in Kingsolver’s favor, and ordered the domain transferred.
It would be unusual for a well known person to convince a panel that they have a trademark in their last name. As the owner points out in his tirade, Tom Cruise wouldn’t be able to win Cruise.com and Julia Roberts wouldn’t win Roberts.com. I suspect what happened in this case was that Kingsolver’s prior ownership of the domain played a role in the panelist’s decision. The parked page didn’t help, even though the owner had a legitimate excuse for it.
This isn’t the first time Kingsolver has used UDRP to get a domain name. In 2001 she won an arbitration for BarbaraKingsolver.com.