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Hey NAF, this is a classic example of reverse domain hijacking

Respondent wins but should have gotten more than that.

National Arbitration Forum panelist Beatrice Onica Jarka got the “answer” correct in a recent UDRP case. But she really should have considered reverse domain name hijacking.

The case was brought by deals site Shopzooey, Inc.

Shopzooey, Inc was founded in 2011. Upon finding the domain name Shopzooey.com already registered, the company registered MyShopZooey.com in July 2011. ShopZooey.com was registered in September 2010.

Fast forward to 2012 and ShopZooey is frustrated that it can’t get in touch with the owner of the better domain name to try to buy it. So it files a UDRP.

Here are some of the complainant’s arguments:

“Respondent has failed to address continued overtures by Complainant in a good faith attempt to open up a negotiations dialogue for the possible purchase of the domain.”

“The domain name is being used in bad faith, as upon purchasing the disputed domain name, Respondent failed to put the domain to proper use. To date, Respondent has yet to make proper use of the domain and this misuse has continued for one year and four months.”

“…Respondent’s continued renewal and failure to properly utilize the domain qualifies as a deliberate attempt by Respondent to profit from diverting users to the Respondent’s myshopzooey.com website by causing mistake or deception as to the source of origin of the services and intentionally disrupting Complainant’s business.”

“Respondent utilized a third-party registration company (Domains by Proxy, Inc.) to shield the true identity of the Respondent. As such, Complainant submitted numerous requests to the third-party registration company to contact the Respondent to attempt to engage in a dialogue regarding the disputed domain name.”

My God, I think I might throw up.

If there ever is UDRP reform, arbitration forums should be required to throw out cases where the subject domain was registered before any claimed trademark rights.

In the meantime, panelists should call reverse domain name hijacking when they see it. Even if the respondent doesn’t have a lawyer and doesn’t know to ask for it.

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Reader Interactions


    Leave a Comment

  1. Nic says

    Good work.

    It’s great that someone is outing these types of actions. Lots of work. Well worth it.

    Thank you!

  2. George Kirikos says

    Some of the top non-lawyer domain name owners would judge these disputes far more accurately than the so-called “expert” panelists with their law degrees.

    While I have the utmost respect for many wise lawyers (including some of the WIPO/NAF panelists), remember this mathematical fact: 50% of the lawyers graduated in the bottom half of their class. 🙂

  3. Bait state says

    The real crook here is bay state ip
    Bruno Bruno bruno
    Shame shame shame
    What a disservice
    To your client
    The registrant
    And to ur profession

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