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.