Panelist questions why complainant waited 13 years to file a domain name dispute.
A National Arbitration Forum panel has dismissed a UDRP case, and it seems that the main reason was that the case was brought 13 years after the domain name was registered.
The case was brought by Galaxy Catering, Inc., aka Big Texan Steak Ranch over the domain name TheBigTexan.com. The respondent registered the domain name in 2000, and panelist Nathalie Dreyfus questioned why, if it was such as big deal, did the complainant wait so long to file its complaint?
Dreyfus ruled that Galaxy Catering proved the first element of the policy. But then Dreyfus touched on the doctrine of laches issue under the heading “Laches”. Although Dreyfus’ explanation touches on some of the elements of UDRP, it’s focused squarely on the long delay in bringing the case.
The following paragraph is worth publishing in its entirety:
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the presumption in favor of Complainant upon satisfaction of the first element of the Policy can be rebutted since the domain name at issue does not appear to have caused any business disruption or confusion suffered by Complainant and by the fact of laches on the part of Complainant. It appears that Complainant would have taken action in a more timely fashion had the disputed domain name been seriously disruptive. In addition, if the Panel takes note that the restaurant “The Big Texan” seems to have been renowned at least in Texas since the years 2010, the data provided by Complainant doesn’t confirm that the said restaurant and the related trademarks were known when the disputed domain name was registered by Respondent in 2000. In addition, Complainant has not justified in its Complaint why it has waited 13 years to file a UDRP complaint against the disputed domain name. Last, the Panel has duly noted that Complainant alleges that Respondent orally declared that he doesn’t accept offers less than $1000. This financial offer is unfortunately not backed by any written evidence and the Panel wonders whether such request is really inappropriate when occurring 13 years after the registration of the disputed domain name.