Florida bar filed UDRP despite knowing domain name wasn’t registered in bad faith.
Castaways Bar, LLC , owner of Square Grouper Tiki Bar in Jupiter, Florida, has been found guilty of reverse domain name hijacking by filing a UDRP against SquareGrouper.com.
When the company opened its bar in 2003, SquareGrouper.com was already registered. The registrant apparently was working on a screenplay by the name Square Grouper, and had already registered a “treatment” with the Writers Guild of America West for the screenplay.
Thus, the bar ended up registering SquareGrouper.net. It says it was “forced to utilize” the domain name squaregrouper.net “due to the misappropriation and holding ‘hostage’ by the Respondent of the .com domain name”.
In other words, the respondent had already registered the domain name before Square Group Tiki Bar was in existence, so it went with the alternative .net domain name instead.
Fast forward to 2013, when a representative for the bar sent a note to the respondent that read “I see you are the owner of SquareGrouper.com and I wanted to reach to you about purchasing this domain from you. I represent Square Grouper Tiki Bar in Jupiter, FL. We have had the .net domain for a few years now but would like to get the .com as well”.
When the respondent didn’t reply, Square Group Tiki Bar filed a UDRP, a clear abuse of the proceeding:
However, in the circumstances of this case that delay leads to the conclusion that Complainant did not regard Respondent’s registration as having been made in bad faith. This in turn leads the Panel to the conclusion that, knowing that the Domain Name was not registered in bad faith, Complainant nevertheless brought this proceeding in an attempt to deprive the registrant of the Domain Name and has thereby engaged in Reverse Domain Name Hijacking.
Humorously, the complainant argued that the respondent “apparently routinely traffics in domain names for the purpose of speculation and resale profiteering” because it owned 22 domain names.
The bar was represented by Carl Spagnuolo of McHale & Slavin, P.A..