Company says domain name was stolen from its Moniker account, but UDRP panel determines it didn’t prove trademark rights.
An Austin company that once owned OnlineMBA.com has failed to recover the allegedly stolen domain name through a UDRP.
Mascot Media Circle, LLC has owned the domain name since 2010. This summer it realized it was no longer in control of the domain name, and alleges that it was stolen from its Moniker account. This sounds plausible, given the number of security issues discussion of domains stolen from the registrar since it switched platforms last year.
DomainTools historical whois records show the domain name was in Mascot’s control at the end of 2014. A February 20, 2015 record shows the domain name was still at Moniker but in another person’s name and pending transfer. It was subsequently transferred to NameCheap.
The panel ruled that Mascot did not show it had trademark rights in the term “Online MBA”.
UDRP can be used to recover stolen domain names, but the complainant must prove all elements of the policy. In cases of theft, proving trademark rights is often the hardest part.
Earlier this year, domain name attorney John Berryhill successfully recovered the stolen domain name EHT.com through UDRP.
Since the complainant in this case chose a three person panel, I hope it tried to get at least one person on that panel that has dealt with a stolen domain UDRP in the past.
OnlineMBA.com is certainly a valuable domain name. Mascot will now need to turn to the courts to try to recover the domain.