Panelist rips apart Land Rover.
Land Rover has been found guilty of reverse domain name hijacking in a UDRP case it brought against a Montana dealer of old school Land Rovers that uses the domain MountainRovers.com.
This is despite the car dealer not responding to the UDRP. Even more noteworthy is the scathing critique panelist Houston Putnam Lowry had for Land Rover.
Lowry determined that Land Rover didn’t meet any of the three necessary requirements to win a UDRP case.
First, he argued MountainRovers.com was not confusingly similar to a mark in which the car company had rights.
On the issue of rights or legitimate interests, it appears that Lowry believes Land Rover tried to mislead him:
Complainant was a little too glib in its submission of the WHOIS information to this Panel. Complainant somehow forgot to include the registered owner’s name in the WHOIS material, although that is very easy for the Panel to determine…by looking at the top the Complaint. Mountain Rovers, Inc. registered the disputed domain name and Respondent is clearly commonly known by that name.
Lowry noted that Mountain Rovers, Inc. has been using the domain name since 1998 without objection. He writes:
Certainly Complaint is guilty of latches (sic) by allowing Respondent to use the disputed domain without objection for 5,146 days. All during that time, Respondent was acquiring rights to the disputed domain name…
…This Panel has no qualms in finding Respondent has acquired rights to the disputed domain name with Complainant’s tacit acquiescence.
Lowry also found the domain name was not registered in bad faith, and it’s pretty clear he was pissed at Land Rover at this point:
Complainant believes it has demonstrated Respondents bad faith solely by demanding the domain name be transferred and Respondent’s failure to do so. This Panel thinks not.
All of this lead to a reverse domain name hijacking finding, which is particularly rare when the domain name owner doesn’t respond to the case.