Company tries to make claim to LGG.com 15 years after it’s registered.
Telepathy, the domain name company run by domain investor Nat Cohen, has successfully defended his domain name LGG.com in a UDRP.
The complaint was brought by Valio Ltd, a Finnish dairy company and was filed with Czech Arbitration Court.
If you’re not familiar with Telepathy, it owns the largest portfolio of three letter .com domain names in the world, with over 1,000 of them.
Cohen also helps keep the database of reverse domain name hijacking cases at RDNH.com. Even though he won the LGG.com case, panelists Alan Limbury, David Taylor, and Thomas Hoeren shirked their responsibility to consider Telepathy’s claims of RDNH.
You can be excused if you do a couple face palms while reading Valio’s claims.
The purpose of the use and registration of the disputed domain name has been, inter alia, to prevent Valio, the legitimate owner of LGG trademark, from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name as well as to sell the disputed domain name to Valio.
Right. So someone who has 1,000 three letter .com domains only registered this particular one because it saw that a Finnish dairy group used the acronym LGG for some of its products. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have bothered to register the domain.
The LGG trademark was launched by Valio in the United States during the year 1998. The Respondent registered the disputed domain name lgg.com exactly in 1998. The aforementioned situation is not likely to be a sole coincidence.
And all those other three letter domains registered around the same time? Must have been coincidence.
(Cohen pointed out that Valio didn’t provide any proof of offering its products in the U.S. in 1998, let alone prior to the February registration of the domain.)
Oh, and the complainant did not register lgg.fi until 2003. Given that it’s now 15 years after Cohen registered LGG.com, Valio is a bit late to the table.
It gets better. In Cohen’s response:
The Complaint attempts to mislead by stating that “the LGG trademark was launched by Valio in the United States during the year 1998”. At the time of the registration of the Disputed Domain on February 10, 1998, the status of Complainant’s trademark application was that the US Patent and Trademark Office had issued a Final Refusal letter. Complainant therefore had no enforceable trademark rights in the United States when the Disputed Domain was registered.
Valio offered $10,000 for the domain and Telepathy asked for $175,000. It seems like this was a last ditch effort by Valio Ltd to get the domain name cheaply.
There’s another interesting aspect to this case that I’ll write about later.