A UDRP for a major domain name.
A single member World Intellectual Property Organization panel has denied a UDRP filed by Major Wire Industries Limited against the owner of Major.com. Panelist Christopher S. Gibson declined to find reverse domain name hijacking, though.
Major Wire Industries has been around since the 1800s, and decided to go after Major.com some 130 years after it was founded (and 20 years after Major.com was first registered).
The company tried to buy the domain name, but didn’t approve of the $115,000 price tag on the valuable domain name. I found its claim around this rather amusing:
A representative of Complainant then successfully contacted a representative of Respondent to inquire about acquiring the Domain Name. Respondent, through its representative, Sergei Arsentiev, then offered to sell the Domain Name for USD 115,000. Complainant states that Respondent did not provide a breakdown of this fee or any explanations as to why the requested amount was so high. Complainant has estimated that the out-of-pocket costs directly related to the Domain Name are USD 30 per year, meaning that since registration, Respondent would only have spent USD 150 for the Domain Name.
Hmm, let’s see. Why could Major.com’s price be “so high”? The complainant already argued that the current domain owner wasn’t the original, so the argument that “respondent would only have spend USD 150 for the Domain Name” doesn’t hold water.
In fact, the domain name exchanged hands in 2006 for a price of EUR 48,000.
Major Wire Industries has a couple registered trademarks for “Major”, but they are for figurative marks that specifically disclaim rights in “major”. It relied on common law rights.
The panelist denied finding RDNH, noting:
The Panel determines that it is appropriate to deny Respondent’s request for a finding of RDNH in this case, in view of the Panel’s decision above, in view also of the rigorously contested issues as between the parties, and, in particular, in view of the lack of transparency in the ownership structures allegedly existing between Respondent and entities previously holding the Domain Name.