Who actually owns this domain?
A World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) panel has ordered the domain name Pepper.com.au be transferred to Pepper Australia Pty Ltd, a home loan company.
The case was filed under .au Dispute Resolution Policy, which is different from the standard UDRP. Compared to UDRP, the .au policy is more lax on proving rights in a mark. It also requires only bad faith registration or use, not bad faith registration and use.
That said, how the panel came to its conclusion in this case is really strange. Basically, the respondent in the case Massive Networks Pty Ltd, deregistered as a company in 2010. The panel thus rules that it can’t have any rights or legitimate interests in the domain:
It cannot therefore hold property such as the registration of a domain name. The Panel concludes that it cannot have or claim any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
Then the panel states that the respondent in the case did not register or use the domain in bad faith. Nevertheless, someone is now using it in bad faith, the panelist decides:
However the current use of the disputed domain name cannot be use by the Respondent, which no longer exists. It must therefore be use by an unidentified person or company. The website to which the disputed domain names resolves directs a visitor to travel agency offers and products and appears to have no connection to the Respondent or anyone connected to it.
In that case isn’t the respondent in the case not who it should be?
Seems like perverted justice to me.