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Stolen domain name 608.com returned to owner in UDRP

Panel orders 608.com transferred back to its previous owner.

An Asian Domain Name Dispute Resolution Centre (ADNDRC) panel has ordered the domain name 608.com be returned to its previous owner, who said the domain name was stolen from him.

In the dispute, Complainant Chiu Tsen Hu said he purchased the domain name at Sedo in 2006 for $6,009. He has used it in various ways since then, including to promote his domain names for sale. He alleged that the domain name was stolen from his eNom account in February 2015 and transferred to GoDaddy.

The new whois record for the domain name was just slightly modified from the original, including an apparent unit in the same complex in which the complainant lives. The complainant said that unit does not exist.

The panelist was a bit torn about if UDRP was the correct mechanism to return the domain name. Although this is a case of theft, the panelist determined that, should the complainant prove all three elements of the UDRP, then the domain name should be transferred.

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  1. John Berryhill

    As long as the Complainant can satisfy the first element – having a trade or service mark, whether registered or unregistered – then domain theft is just another species of bad faith registration.

    There is a widespread, and incorrect, belief that the UDRP can be used for domain hi-jackings generally, absent a trade or service mark. The panelist in this decision is careful to make that distinction, but there is no doubt that those who don’t read beyond the headlines will get the impression that the UDRP “works” for domain thefts. It doesn’t, of course, because ICANN policies are primarily driven by brand interests, and concerns about domain registrants rank far below those priorities. Those that specialize in “brand protection” domain registrations prefer it that way, since they can markup .com registrations to $75 or more, while further using the selling point that they will provide enhanced domain security in the context of a system which they have lobbied to make unduly complex. It’s a wondrous thing to watch in action.

  2. Eric Lyon

    It’s definitely an interesting approach to us a panel for securing stolen domains. Makes me wonder if the whole legal process might make a shift out of district courts and fall into the jurisdiction of panelists in the future. I suppose if there are enough successful cases that go on-record, it could be a possibility.

    Not sure I agree with the concept, however, maybe, just maybe, if something like this was to pass, it would speed up the process that takes some registrars and court dockets way to long to resolve.

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