After lavishing gifts on cybersquatter, Formula 1 team has a change of heart.
With Formula 1 coming to Austin in just two months, I was interested to see this UDRP brought by a Formula 1 team.
Force India Formula One Team Limited, which is strangely located in the United Kingdom, filed a dispute against the registrant of saharaforceindia.com and saharaforceindiaf1.com.
The registrant of these domain names registered the domains the same day the Formula 1 team announced its purchase by Sahara Adventure Sports Limited and the subsequent name change.
Normally you’d think the team would have contacted the registrant and demanded that he turn over the domain names. But Force India took a very different tact, as described by the panelist:
After discovering the Respondent’s registrations of the Disputed Domain Names, the Complainant immediately offered the Respondent INR 8,000 to buy the Disputed Domain Names but this offer was refused. The following day the offer was “sweetened” by the addition of a pair of free domestic air tickets with Kingfisher Airlines, and an all-expenses paid attendance for two people at the Singapore Grand Prix in 2012. These offers were likewise rejected by the Respondent. The Respondent and his wife were also afforded significant hospitality by the Complainant during the 2011 Indian Grand Prix. Subsequently, in December 2011, the Respondent indicated that he would transfer the Disputed Domain Names to the Complainant for USD 7,000. The Complainant then offered USD 10,000 for the Disputed Domain Names together with four other domain names registered by the Respondent being saharaforceindia.in, saharaforceindiaf1.in, saharaforceindia.co.in and
. This offer was accepted by the Respondent but, before that agreement could be completed, the Complainant decided to instigate proceedings instead. Curiously, on March 22, 2012 the Complainant then offered the Respondent USD 4,000 for the Disputed Domain Names together with the four Indian domain names. The Respondent refused this offer.
I’m a bit confused about why the team went through so much effort to get domain names it could easily recover through UDRP. I guess it woke up to this fact much later, after it played nice for a long time. (That said, once it agreed to the payment it should have gone through with it.)
Force India won the case, although it only covered the .com domains.