Domain owner files complaint to halt transfer of domain name after losing UDRP.
The owner of Macth.com has sued online dating company Match.com and domain name recovery firm CitizenHawk after losing a UDRP for her domain name.
In a complaint filed in the Southern District of Florida (pdf), Liz Eddy is asking for declaratory relief and financial penalties. She says Macth.com is a generic typo.
Eddy lost a UDRP for Macth.com on August 15. She alleges that Match.com fabricated evidence by bidding on the term “macth”:
Upon information and belief, Defendant Match.com and / or Defendant Citizenhawk, or their agent, placed a bid to have Defendant’s Match.com’s advertisement for matching services displayed in response to lnternet searches for the word ‘macth.’ Dedendants then used the advertisement shown on Plaintiffs webpage as result of Plaintiff’s adverting (sic) provider Google.com to self generate evidence purporting to show evidence in support Defendant’s claim of Plaintiff’s bad faith registration and use of the Domain Name, something the Defendants could not show absent fabricating this evidence. Plaintiff did not cause Defendant Match.com’s website to be reachable on the webpage shown, rather Defendants or their agents did by paying to put their MATCH.COM advertising link at the top of the web page.
The panelist in the case did not address Eddy’s allegations of the evidence being manipulated.
Eddy also alleges that Match.com’s representative in the UDRP, CitizenHawk, “is not licensed to represent others in legal proceedings including arbitration.”
She also says that she’s been using the domain since she registered it in 2000:
After registering the Domain Name, Plaintiff made demonstrable efforts to use the Domain Name for testing and development and did use the domain name for testing of patent pending algortithms (sic).
A quick look shows the domain name has been parked since at least 2005, and much of that time Match.com was the top result on the web page.
Eddy is representing herself in the legal action.
CitizenHawk has not responded specifically about this lawsuit, but reiterated what the company’s CEO told me in July: “CitizenHawk represents its clients exclusively upon their consent and doesn’t provide legal advice – and NEVER has. CitizenHawk facilitates the dispute process in collaboration with each client’s legal staff and does NOT file a UDRP unless and until it receives prior approval from the client’s legal counsel.”
Additionally, two sources have told me that a complaint was filed previously with the California Bar regarding CitizenHawk’s representation services and the California Bar decided it didn’t warrant taking action.
Fighting and wasting money on a worthless domain.
I hate UDRP and I wish Eddy a good luck!
I’ve heard this somewhere before. Andrew is this true ? That’s a big allegation for someone doing a lot of udrp cases on contingency.
CitizenHawk, “is not licensed to represent others in legal proceedings including arbitration.”
Andrew Allemann says
@ Adam – I reached out to CitizenHawk for comment.
Gawd, I hate these companies that file UDRP’s in an effort to grab other domains, and use the excuse that the domain owner made a type intentionally just to harm their company or website in some way. These domain bullies are either too greedy or too paranoid. Probably both. Macth looks nothing nothing like Match.com. It looks more like Math. And Match is a generic word anyway. It is not a copyrightable word.
I meant “made a typo intentionally” and not “made a type intentionally”. =D
Without evaluating whether or not assisting with a UDRP / Arbitration proceeding is providing ‘legal advice’ – the ‘collaboration’ with a client’s legal counsel seems more like getting the legal counsel sign off to go ahead, as opposed to actual collaboration where the legal counsel prepares the arguments and documents and asks Citizenhawk to merely file it for them…especially with the automated document and filing system that Citizenhawk has created – the HawkUDRP ™ service: http://www.citizenhawk.com/blog/post/Automated-UDRP-Filings.aspx
By the way, Eddy won back the domain name from court. 🙂
Andrew Allemann says
@ bindal – the case is still ongoing
Wolters Kluwer announced that they just bought Citizenhawk: http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/wolters-kluwer-corporate-legal-services-extends-online-brand-protection-capabilities-1828575.htm
This case is closed.