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New Forests Asset Management is a Reverse Domain Name Hijacker

Company filed dead-on-arrival UDRP after failing to purchase domain name it wanted.

New Forests Asset Management domain name hijacking
After failing to buy NewForests.com, the asset management firm went the unethical route.
New Forests Asset Management Pty Limited of North Sydney, Australia has been found to have engaged in Reverse Domain Name Hijacking over the domain name NewForests.com. The asset management firm uses the Australian country code domain name NewForests.com.au.

The company filed a UDRP against NewForests.com despite not having been in existence since, at the earliest, one year after NewForest.com was registered by the respondent. New Forests claimed a number of dates for rights to the term “New Forests”, but even the biggest stretch was to 2000. The respondent registered the domain name in 1999.

New Forests Asset Management persisted in its case even after this point was brought up by the respondent. In fact, it submitted more evidence of its claimed trademark rights in a supplemental filing, but these rights still fell after the registration date.

The panel determined that this was a Plan B RDNH, in which the complainant filed a UDRP after failing to buy the domain name from its rightful owner.

In the case at hand, the Panel considers that the Complainant is represented by a Counsel who knew or should have known, at the time of the filing of the Complaint, that it could not prove at least one of the essential elements required by the Policy, namely the Respondent’s bad faith registration, as the Respondent’s registration of the disputed domain name predates the creation and first use of the Complainant’s trademark. Moreover, the Complaint does not even address the disparity in dates, merely mentioning that the trademark was used by the Complainant’s predecessor-in-title since 2000, i.e., one year after the registration of the disputed domain name.

Furthermore, there is no indication, also in the pre-complaint correspondence exchanged between the Parties, that the Respondent might have expressly intended to target the Complainant’s trademark, and it appears that the Complaint was filed in an attempt to obtain the transfer of the disputed domain name from the Panel after the Complainant’s negotiations with the Respondent were unsuccessful.

The complainant was represented by Clayton Utz Solicitors, and the respondent was represented by Stokes Lawrence, P.S.

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  1. Joshua says

    As you say it was a “dead-on-arrival” case before they even started, yet they still went ahead.

    Even the panelists said that it was un-winnable case – “In the case at hand, the Panel considers that the Complainant is represented by a Counsel who knew or should have known, at the time of the filing of the Complaint, that it could not prove at least one of the essential elements required by the Policy, namely the Respondent’s bad faith registration, as the Respondent’s registration of the disputed domain name predates the creation and first use of the Complainant’s trademark.”

    Oh to be a fly on the wall.

    Did Law Firm Clayton Utz (quoting on their website that they are one of Australia’s largest and most experienced specialist intellectual property groups) advise their client that they didn’t have a hope of winning, but the client said proceed anyway?

    You often wonder with these failed cases – was it the Complainant that, despite the advice of a specialist Intellectual Property law firm, that they couldn’t win the case but still wanted to proceed, or the law firm that pushed them to proceed.

    Whatever, New Forest Asset Management is now labelled as Reverse Domain Name Hijacker – not exactly a nice label to have, but I guess Law Firm Clayton Utz still picked up their fees. Nice work if you can get it! Maybe Clayton Utz gave their client a refund for not winning the case.

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