WIPO panel determined UK company filed domain name dispute in bad faith.
UK company Optilead Ltd has been found to have engaged in reverse domain name hijacking over the domain name Optilead.com.
Optilead Ltd uses the domain name Optilead.co.uk for its shopping cart abandonment services. According the the World Intellectual Property Organization decision, Optilead.com was registered about 9 years before Optilead Ltd shows any trademark rights in the term Optilead.
As such, panelist Alistair Payne found that the French owner of the domain name had not registered the domain in bad faith.
Optilead Ltd had negotiated to purchase the domain name and apparently filed this UDRP as a way to “force the position” of the respondent, Alistair ruled. Alistair described why this case was brought in bad faith:
…it seems to the Panel that this Complaint is without merit at all and was entirely contrived in order to obtain a domain name that someone else had bona fide registered many years prior to the commencement of the Complainant’s business. Following the initial refusal of the Complainant’s offers for purchase of the disputed domain name the Complainant thought that it could force the position by filing a complaint under the Policy. Even after the Respondent’s indication that it would now be prepared to sell the disputed domain name, the Complainant insisted upon proceeding in any event.
The Complainant, coming from Yorkshire, should have known that this is not “cricket”. The Policy is intended to alleviate cybersquatting and not as a tool for commercial bullying. The Panel considers that this Complaint is an abuse of the Policy and that the Complainant should have known better, particularly in circumstances that it had legal representation. Accordingly, the Panel makes a finding of reverse domain name hijacking in this case.