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Marchex successfully defends geo domain name in UDRP

Panel rules company can keep Norcross.com domain name.

Marchex has successfully defended the domain name Norcross.com in a UDRP with the help of domain name attorney John Berryhill.

Marchex acquired the domain when it bought Yun Ye’s Ultimate Search portfolio.

Norcross is a suburb of Atlanta and the parked page at Norcross.com has shown links related to Georgia, hotels, etc.

The complainant, Norcross Corporation, sells viscosity equipment. While I’ll applaud it for owning the domain name viscosity.com, it clearly was on the wrong side of this case.

Norcross Corporation complained that Marchex said it would only entertain offers of $30,000 or more for any of its domain names. Some panelists think they are equipped to appraise domain names and make comments about how outrageous certain asking prices are. But this three person panel gets it:

The fact that Respondent was only willing to sell the domain name to Complainants for a sum far in excess of its out-of-pocket expenses directly related to the domain name does not establish the requisite bad faith since the Respondent had a legitimate interest in the domain name. A domain name registrant is always permitted to sell a domain name to which it has rights for a profit; that constitutes bad faith only when the domain name was acquired primarily for the bad faith purpose of selling it to the trademark owner.

I’ll toast to that.

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  1. Joey Starkey says

    It is too bad that the UDRP decisions do not all follow the same vein. There had to be a better way. Doesn’t this seem to look like “Domain Hijacking as well?”

  2. Larry says

    “A domain name registrant is always permitted to sell a domain name to which it has rights for a profit; that constitutes bad faith only when the domain name was acquired primarily for the bad faith purpose of selling it to the trademark owner.”

    I’d like John Berryhill’s opinion on this. Over the years it’s been pretty clear that a good way to lose a domain is to enter into price negotiations with any trademark owner whether registered or common law by discussing price.

    Thoughts?

  3. steve says

    Why don’t they buy the .net

    Why is it always the .com that is files suit for and the other glt’s

    So flagrant an attempt at stealing away a domain instead of realizing the value.

    Expenses should be covered for losers in these cases. Up to 5k

  4. Viper says

    Does Mr. Berryhill have a website? We may need his services in the not-so-distant future.

  5. John Berryhill says

    @David – it’s true, though. It’s like the “helicopter door gunner rule” in Vietnam. You shoot. If they run, they are VC. If they don’t run, they are brave VC.

    I’ve seen UDRP complaints attempt to argue both at the same time:

    “We offered him $20,000 and he didn’t take it. This means he wanted more, and was trying to sell it in excess of out of pocket costs.”

    So… if he took the $20,000 he’d still be a cybersquatter for accepting the complainant’s offer to buy it in excess of out of pocket costs.

    The other variation was in Tristan.com where the guy said he wasn’t interested in selling the domain name. The complainant’s agent said, “Would you take $100,000 for it?” The domain registrant said, “sure.” So then the complainant filed a UDRP complaint saying that his willingness to accept $100K meant he was trying to rip them off.

    IP lawyers constantly get upset because domainers are suspicious, cagey, and non-communicative in response to communications from them. It’s no wonder. Most IP lawyers act like complete pricks in these situations, and will distort whatever you tell them.

    Nine times out of ten, the only response to ANY communication of ANY kind from an IP lawyer, absent a clear non-defensible claim in the domain name, should be “FU”, because you are not going to do yourself any favors having a conversation with someone whose sole purpose is to make you look bad.

    It would be different if most IP lawyers were not assholes. But the overwhelming majority of IP lawyers are simply smug, overbearing, tedious, lying assholes. And I say that with 20 years experience in the field.

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