Pharma company loses key domain name.
[Update: Roche has won the domain arbitration.] Roche subsidiary 454 Life Sciences has lost control of its 454.com domain name and is asking a UDRP panel to help it get it back.
The history on 454.com is intriguing. Piecing it together with the help of DomainTools’ historical whois, there are several times over the past two years when this domain name may have been compromised. But earlier this month it suddenly was under a new name and forwarded to a Sedo parking page.
Roche was in control of the domain name as of March 31, 2010. The admin contact was email@example.com although the whois had an invalid phone number. It also showed an old Network Solutions technical contact even though the domain was at eNom, so there was clearly some poor record keeping.
On April 16, 2010 the domain name moved out of Roche’s eNom reseller account. The registration services email changed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Then on May 23, 2010 the whois record changed to a privacy service even though the nameservers stayed with Roche.
The domain came out from whois privacy on July 14, 2011. The whois record looked like it had before the domain name went into privacy in April 2010 with one subtle difference: the admin email was now email@example.com.
Notice the typo of Roche as Roceh?
Roche doesn’t own Roceh.com, which means the owner or Roceh.com basically could control the domain name. But it’s not clear that that lead to the domain changing hands, because the typo was fixed on July 31, 2011.
Then on September 5 the domain name suddenly changed to a new owner and pointed to Sedo domain parking.
How and when did Roche actually lose control of the domain name? It’s hard to tell. Perhaps the UDRP case will shed some more light on it.