Croma went after a domain registered a decade before its existence.
Infiniti Retail Ltd., a TaTa company that runs the Indian electronics chain Croma, has been found guilty of reverse domain name hijacking.
The company, which operates at CromaRetail.com, filed a UDRP to get the domain name Croma.com.
It didn’t start using the Croma brand until 2006, which is a full decade after the owner of Croma.com registered the domain name. Croma.com had been in use to promote the registrant’s web services until 2011. It’s now a placeholder page thanking customers for their previous business.
This was an easy case for panelist Alistair Payne, who determined that the registrant had rights or legitimate interests in the domain name and it wasn’t registered in bad faith.
He went a step further, ruling that the case was an abuse of the policy:
The Panel finds that the Complaint was an unnecessary imposition upon the Respondent and an abuse of the Policy. There is moreover no evidence before the Panel that the Complainant ever previously communicated with the Respondent, whether concerning an alleged infringement of its rights, or with regard to commercial acquisition of the disputed domain name. It appears to the Panel that the Complaint was simply brought in an attempt to obtain a domain name that the Complainant decided after the fact it would like to own for its own business purposes. In these circumstances the Panel has no hesitation in finding that the Complaint amounts to an attempt at reverse domain name hijacking.
It’s noteworthy that he brings up that it doesn’t appear that Infiniti Retail ever reached out to the domain name owner. If that is indeed the case, one has to wonder why? Given that the respondent has changed business models and isn’t currently using the site, you would think they’d at least consider selling it.