Four single digit .co.uk domain names subject to arbitration.
I officially nominate 9.co.uk as the most fascinating domain arbitration of 2011.
You may recall that .uk registry Nominet auctioned of its one and two character domain names a couple months ago, bringing in a over 3m.
One of the active buyers was XYZ Invest LLC. Shortly after winning the domain name at auction XYZ Invest was hit with a DRS — the .UK equivalent of a UDRP. Apparently similar cases have been filed against 1.co.uk, 5.co.uk, and 7.co.uk.
The story, according to XYZ’s response in the case, is fascinating.
XYZ says this is a “transparent scheme of gamesmanship” by which the complainant’s principal’s want to acquire a number of domain names that were part of the Nominet short domain name auction.
Complainant 9 LTD filed the complaint after losing the auction for 9.co.uk to XYZ.
According to XYZ, the complainant is the registered owner of UK trademarks for every single digit save for 3, all filed shortly after Nominet’s plans to release the domains was finalized. Yet he was disqualified from Nominet’s sunrise option for trademark holders to get these domain names.
It is thus apparent that the Claim is not based on any underlying bona fide trade or service mark but is merely part of a scheme to collect single digit .co.uk domain names.
According to XYZ invest, the complainant says it may bring identical disputes against the owners of other single digit domain names after getting results results from the four existing filed cases.
The complainant denies most of XYZ’s claims.
Not surprisingly, the panel found in favor of XYZ (pdf).