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Company pays $25k to resolve lawsuit stemming from UDRP

Domain name owner that sued after losing UDRP settles for $25,000 (not including the domain).

Companies that file long shot UDRPs with the hope of scoring a great domain name, take note.

An Austin company has agreed to pay $25,000 to settle a lawsuit filed against it after it initiated a UDRP case.

And the company won its UDRP.

Austin Pain Associates filed a UDRP against AustinPain.com, a domain owned by HugeDomains. I was surprised that the complainant won, and believe the National Arbitration Forum panel made an error in the case.

So was HugeDomains, which filed a federal lawsuit to halt the transfer of the domain name and recover damages.

HugeDomains and Austin Pain Associates have agreed to a judgement and permanent injunction (pdf). Austin Pain Associates agreed to pay $25,000 to HugeDomains, and this did not include purchasing the domain name. AustinPain.com now forwards to Austin Pain Associate’s website, so it appears that the company subsequently purchased the domain name on top of the $25,000.

A lot of lawyers advise clients to file a UDRP because there’s little downside and the domain name owner might not show up. Reverse domain name hijacking can be bad for a company’s reputation, but there’s no financial penalty.

Yet here’s a case in which there was a financial penalty, even though a UDRP panel found in favor of the complainant.

Companies being advised to file a UDRP should think twice: whenever you initiate an action, even for arbitration, you’re opening yourself up to a potential lawsuit or counter-action.

I actually feel a bit bad for Austin Pain Associates, as I wonder what advice it received. I wouldn’t expect a doctor to understand the ins-and-outs of domain name law.

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  1. Mike says

    The more people who issue proceedings the better because then the penny might finally drop with the lawyers. It does not necessarily take much money to issue the proceedings either.

  2. JZ says

    Austin Pain Associates should sue their lawyers for the bad advice they gave them and ending up costing them so much.

  3. George Kirikos says

    This should be considered a humiliation for ICANN, NAF and the *three* panelists who decided the original UDRP matter.

    We know that NAF was forced out of credit card arbitrations. That should have destroyed its credibility. But, ICANN looks the other way and lets them continue to operate as a UDRP provider, with no oversight. There have been many other criticisms of the UDRP, and NAF in particular, but ICANN ignores them all.

    • David Gruttadaurio says

      Amen to that. Score a big win for the good guys. Someone has finally circumvented those UDRP bozos.

  4. Robbie says

    The first ruling was a joke, hopefully this lays the groundwork for more pigs to be roasted. Pay up you cheap bastards.

  5. dotdude says

    Yes, Huge Domains got $25k back… but what approximately are the legal fees to even start and file a law suit in a U.S. District Court? Maybe some sort of domain seller union with paid dues to offset the expense. That would put the brakes on frivolous UDRP filings.

  6. Jack Abbot says

    I’m looking for the reverse – recovery of the UDRP fees from HugeDomains.com for registering a trademark along with seeing if they can be tied to “Alex” the “buy this domain” spammer.
    Domain Availability Notice:
    After extensive research,(example.com) has been identified as a premium domain, and will be published for bids upon release to the public.
    Due to the short time frame, please fill out the simple form to notate interest: (example.com)
    Be sure to do your own research and determine if you see the same thing I do but I am also here if you have questions. Just respond to this email and I’ll get back to you promptly.
    Sincerely,Alex

    • Jay says

      So this “Alex” is a spammer.. thanks to your comment here.. it saved my life… I’ve got the very same e-mail that you’ve mentioned in your comment above…

      Thanks once again

    • KD says

      The “Alex” spam is not related to huge domains. It is a part of a company called Intrust Domains which sends out a ton of spam trying to sell domain names it does not own. Google their company name and you will find a lot of nasty information about them. They are not a good company in the domain name industry.

  7. Hans says

    Huge Domain is a huge pita. It’s unfortunate that they won since they do not provide any useful service, at all…

  8. Veritas says

    What about HugeDomains squatting on personal name based domains of non-public figures? Snagging them and then trying to extort thousands from the original owners?

  9. acem1977 says

    HugeDomains should be shut down based on this bad practice, whats the point of the UDRP when this company gets away with this year after?

    And why do a lot of other people back this company like there is nothing wrong? Its joke what a bunch of POS.

    they do everything listed below…

    https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=e8a5f7d2-206a-4a40-a91b-9d9233d63691

    the UDRP stipulates that factors such as:

    Registration for the sole purpose of selling, renting or otherwise transferring the disputed domain name to the complainant for valuable consideration;
    Registration intended to prevent the rightful owner of the trademark from reflecting the same in a corresponding domain name;
    Registration for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or
    Registration/use of the disputed domain name for the purpose of diverting traffic from the website of a competitor or rightful trademark owner by creating initial interest confusion amongst the relevant consuming public.

  10. eddy peck says

    Huge Domains and its scum bag owner should rot in hell. Squatting is illegal. Period.

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