A classic abuse-of-proceeding case, but no RDNH finding.
A WIPO panel just handed down a decision in a UDRP for Thingify.com. It follows a familiar story line:
1. Person starts company, but matching .com domain is taken.
2. Company opts to use a different extension, in this case Thingify.net.
3. Company then tries to buy .com but can’t strike a deal at the price it wants.
4. Company files a UDRP it has no chance of winning.
In the case of Thingify, Inc, it knew that Thingify.com was registered before it started using the mark. It knew there was no way it could show the domain name was registered in bad faith, but filed a UDRP anyway.
In fact, here’s how the WIPO panelist summarized his findings:
Complainant’s own statement of facts and Whois evidence demonstrates that Respondent registered the domain name at issue long prior to the date of first use of the THINGIFY mark by Complainant as well as well prior to application and registration dates for Complainant’s trademark registration.
It appears the domain name owner represented himself in the proceedings and probably didn’t ask for a finding of reverse domain name hijacking. Still, it’s a panelist’s mandate under UDRP rules to consider a finding of RDNH if warranted.
I believe it was warranted in this case.
Panelist David S. Safran didn’t mention it. Instead, he wrote what was effectively a three line determination in the case.