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Locksmiths “pick” fight with Frank Schilling

…and they lose.

IDN, Inc., the company that runs Locksmith Dealers of America (LSDA), picked a fight with the wrong guy. (Sorry, I couldn’t help it.)

The company filed a UDRP against Frank Schilling’s Name Administration over the domain name LSDA.com.

Apparently IDN, Inc. decided that 2012 was a good year to create a web site after many years in business. Hey, better late than never.

But it wanted the short and simple domain LSDA.com. It offered up to $5,000 (with a threat of legal action otherwise) to Schilling.

Frank Schilling registered the domain name way back in 2001. He wasn’t going to bite.

The panel obviously decided with Schilling on this one, writing:

The Panel agrees with the Respondent that the evidence on record demonstrates that Respondent registered an inherently valuable short domain name more than a decade ago and Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name is clearly not violative of Complainant’s trademark or service mark rights.

IDN is apparently changing its business model as it previously did much of its business through distributors. Hence its desire for the domain, but also a red flag in for the three person arbitration panel:

Moreover, as the record shows, the disputed domain name was registered in 2001. The Complainant argued that in previous years, much of the Complainant’s business for LSDA was done through distributor relationships. This assertion of the Complainant is in fact an admission of the fact that the Complainant was in no way primarily known to the consumers or to the Respondent. The Complainant goes further and explains, that only with the increasing use of the Internet in business, it desired to establish a website at a domain that reflected the principal trademark for LSDA products.

Name Administration pointed out some curious exhibits and assertions made by IDN. Given the clearly false statement by IDN that the domain was registered in 2006, I’m not inclined to give it any benefit of the doubt.

Schilling was represented by John Berryhill. IDN was represented by Dyan M. House of Carter Stafford Arnett Hamada & Mockler PLLC.

The panelists were Beatrice Onica Jarka, Hon. Neil Anthony Brown QC, and Hon. Bruce Meyerson.

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  1. Lori says

    In the early years of UDRP many of the old time domainers were labeled as cybersquatters for no other reason than the fact they have registered a solid domain, inherently valuable short or generic. Back then arbitrators felt that “it must have been targeting complainants!”. Now a decade later it’s clear that no one was targeted when those were initially purchased. These same “cybersquatters” are now recognized as visionaries, even by arbitrators. Congrats to Franky on this one.

  2. Dominio says

    It sounds like Locksmith Dealers of America (LSDA) are nothing but common, ignorant, dirty thieves.

    What a sleazy company, IMO.

  3. Domain Dad says

    We need to have an adverse possession law pertaining to domain names. If you own one open and notoriously for seven years (ie, disclosed, true and accurate WHOIS data) then you should not have to worry about crap like this. After the 7 years, it should be yours and no longer contestible. PERIOD. This challenge after a over a decade garbage is getting old!

  4. Ron says

    How the heck can he keep spending very thousands defending this bs, the cost on this domain just shot upto $5k.

  5. Rob says

    hey locksmiths… this sounds like a pretty big mistake. the domain name you seek just went up many thousands of dollars in order to recover legal costs. then there’s the “satisfaction” expense as well, which may mean many many many many many thousands of dollars extra if YOU buy the domain. of course there is also the option of selling to another buyer and effectively locking you out of that domain forever. 🙂

    the moral of the story? if you’ve got a legit claim then by all means go for it, but if it’s questionable then don’t peeve off the seller as it may end up costing you big time.

  6. rob sequin says

    No reverse domain name hijacking for Locksmith Dealers of America?

    There, no reverse domain name hijacking and Locksmith Dealers of America are in the same sentence so when someone searches for that term and/or Locksmith Dealers of America then this post will follow them around and hopefully be an example to other selfish companies with stupid attorneys.

  7. FarmerJohn says

    Further, perhaps people should be a little more careful about how they throw around words/labels like “dirty thieves” and “sleazy”.

  8. FarmerJohn says

    I’m really only concerned that all this “Us v. Them” mentality and activity is just going to result in “domain investing” becoming nothing more than an outdated Wikipedia entry.

  9. John Berryhill says

    Farmer, you will note that Mr. Schilling does not throw around the sort of unseemly deprecatory language which you rightfully note is unhelpful in the larger scheme of things.

    Part of what you see on the blogs is an emotional reaction by people who have a longstanding and not-unjustified feeling that they are being picked on by bullies. The hazard is to avoid becoming one.

  10. John Berryhill says

    Andrew left out what is the underlying irony of this case.

    IDN is the owner of the asserted marks by virtue of having purchased the previous owner – and no doubt including an accounting of the price of the IP.

    Consider, if the original mark owner had owned lsda.com at that time, then IDN’s purchase of their rights would have included a price component based on perceived added value thereby. As MJ puts it, “If it was a five figure value in that transaction, nobody would have batted an eye.”

  11. Old Timer says

    A very interesting case. It seems that if you want to buy something then the seller also has to agree to sell it! What a novel concept.
    I also suspect that whatever price Frank Schilling had in mind for his domain name, it has now just gone up.

  12. Domainer 2 says

    Also, the loser should have to pay the legal fees of the winner. Presently, plaintiffs have nothing to lose and a valuable domain to gain by buying a $1500 lottery ticket. Adverse possession should definitely apply after 7 years.

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