Company didn’t disclose partnership in cybersquatting complaint.
An Australian software company has been found to have engaged in reverse domain name hijacking after withholding key information in a cybersquatting dispute.
Paessler AG of Nürnberg, Germany, represented by IP Service International Pty Ltd, filed a case under the .au Dispute Resolution Policy over the domain names paessler.com.au and prtg.com.au. Paessler uses the domain name Paessler.com for its website.
The panel found that the two domain names are confusingly similar to marks in which Paessler AG has rights. However, respondent Assured IT Pty Ltd. has been a partner or reseller of Paessler, which brought up questions of whether the domains were registered or used in bad faith. (The .au policy differs from UDRP in that registration or use are not conjunctive.)
It’s disputed if Paessler granted permission for Assured to register the domain names or not. But what really irked the panel, and why it was found to have engaged in reverse domain name hijacking, was that it didn’t disclose anything about the companies having a relationship.
the Complainant has exhibited a total lack of candour in failing to disclose the history and nature of its relationship with the Respondent going back to 2007. That failure could have left the Panel with a totally distorted impression of the nature of the dispute between the Parties and, in the Panel’s view, warrants the sanction.