Arbitrator decides that the case was so weak that the complainant just didn’t know any better.
In March I wrote about how Life is Now, Inc., which promotes business coach David Neagle, had filed a UDRP against JustBelieve.com.
Domain owner Greg Ricks has successfully defended the ridiculous UDRP.
The primary determining factor was that Ricks owned the domain name before the complainant started using the term “Just Believe”. That makes it impossible to prove that the domain name was registered and used in bad faith.
Despite finding in Ricks’ favor, Arbitrator Mark McCormick failed to find Life is Now guilty of reverse domain name hijacking. He used what I call the “idiot defense” to let the complainant off the hook: the complainant just didn’t understand the policy, so it’s not their fault:
Because Complainant’s own evidence contains evidence of Respondent’s prior right in the JUST BELIEVE mark, Complainant may simply have been unaware of the significance of that circumstance. Complainant made no effort to conceal it, and the record contains no evidence of harassment or similar conduct by Complainant.
I wouldn’t have let them off the hook so easily. After all, the complainant was represented by counsel (Stephen J. Thomas of Thomas Business Law Group, P.C.). Despite this, the case was basically phoned in. According to the arbitrator himself, the complaint didn’t even make a case that the domain owner lacked rights or legitimate interests in the domain.
Yet Ricks had to take the time to defend himself.