Panelists do their job by evaluating cases on their merits.
The owners of Marlboro.reviews and PoolFactory.com can keep their domain names, despite not responding to UDRPs.
Although respondents can win a UDRP without responding, panelists typically give the benefit of the doubt to the complainant in these cases. In one recent case, a panelist even asked the complainant to amend the case to make it easier to side with it!
One of the two cases was brought by The Pool Factory, Inc for the domain name PoolFactory.com. Panelist Steven Maier noted that parking a domain name and owning lots of domain names (as the respondent did) is not necessarily a sign of bad faith. The complainant also shot itself in the foot by trying to buy the domain name and other similar ones:
The panel notes that the Complainant purchased a similar domain name, thepoolfactory.com, from its original owner and has attempted to do likewise, apparently on several occasions, in respect of the disputed domain name. Had there been anything in that correspondence to support an allegation that the disputed domain name had been registered in bad faith, then the Panel would have expected any such correspondence to have been exhibited. In fact, these matters (and the Complainant’s evidence that it has amassed 62 other domain names for “defensive purposes”) are somewhat suggestive to the Panel of frustration on the part of the Complainant that it has been unable to obtain the disputed domain name by way of commercial negotiation.
PoolFactory.com was registered in 2004.
The other case is for Marlboro.reviews. For this one, panelist Frederick Abbott seemed unimpressed with the quality of Philip Morris’ case when it comes to proving bad faith:
Complainant bears the burden of demonstrating that Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith. Complainant has not presented evidence that Respondent plans to offer for sale or sell the disputed domain name to Complainant or a third party. Complainant has not presented evidence that Respondent has engaged in a pattern of registering the trademarks of third parties. Complainant has not presented evidence that Respondent is attempting to disrupt the business of a competitor. Complainant has not presented evidence that Respondent for commercial gain has intentionally attempted to attract Internet users to his website or other online location by creating a likelihood of confusion as to Complainant acting as source, sponsor, affiliate or endorser of his website or online location.