Heartland Payment Systems loses claims to “Heartland” domain names.
So far the Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) policy for new top level domain names appears to be working.
URS was designed to be a faster and cheaper version of UDRP for slam dunk cases of cybersquatting. Since UDRP was meant to be for clear-cut cases as well, the burden of proof is very high in URS cases.
Richard Branson was the first to lose a case, for Branson.guru.
Now Heartland Payment Systems, Inc, which describes itself as a Fortune 1000 company that handles $80 billion worth of payments per year, has lost two cases.
Much like the word “Branson”, “Heartland” can refer to much more than the payments company. Short of a smoking gun, such as the domain owner trying to sell the domain to the complainant or putting up parking links related to the trademark’s usage, this type of case is doomed to fail.
In this case Heartland Payment Systems pointed to a blog post it says was authored by the domain owner. The blog post claims the domains were purchased for speculation.
Yet there’s nothing wrong with buying a generic term domain name for speculation purposes. So the domain owner won despite not responding to the dispute.
Panelist Douglas M. Isenberg heard both of the Heartland cases and was also the panelist for Branson.guru.