Complainant offered to buy the domain name for $400.00.
Media Options has successfully defended a UDRP against its domain name WI.com, but the panel declined to find complainant Brian Fera of Germany guilty of reverse domain name hijacking.
Domain name brokerage Media Options originally brokered the domain name on behalf of Masterlock. The company found a buyer toward the end of 2014 for $375,000. Media Options financed the deal, holding the domain name until the buyer made all payments. The buyer defaulted, so Media Options became the owner of the domain name.
The complainant, who has trademarks for WICOM, filed the UDRP after someone tried to sell the domain name to him. Media Options says it has no idea who contacted him, and the “seller” was not Media Options.
Here’s how the panel outlines the communication from the alleged third party:
On July 9, 2015, the Complainant entered into an email exchange, which was initiated by someone called “Mike” using a “gmail” email address. The opening message read: “Hello Brian, Selling WI.com and it would be perfect for your company. Let me know if you are interested?” The Complainant replied: “Hello Mike, maybe depending on how much you ask for the domain.” Mike replied: “Hi Brian, I was looking for USD700k but I am willing to negotiate and get a sale. Let me know your best offer?” The Complainant replied: “Hi Mike, could we agree on USD400.” Mike responded: “Hi Brian You meant USD400k lol. How about USD650k?” The correspondence concluded with the Complainant’s response: “Hi Mike, no we are talking by wrong dimension taking into account that WICOM is a protected trade mark and we can sue and get it by court order … (we did this already before). I would be willing to pay something to avoid law suit but it must be reasonable.”
The panel found that Fera did not show Media Options lacked rights or legitimate interests in the domain name, nor did he prove that the domain was registered in bad faith.
However, the panel declined to find reverse domain name hijacking because, from the complainant’s point of view, it had no reason to suspect the email exchange was not with the domain name owner, and it also didn’t know the history of the domain name.
Even if the exchange had been with Media Options, I think the panel would have come to the same overall conclusion.
Listen to a podcast with Media Options founder Andrew Rosener on the value of short domain names like WI.com.