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Carman’s Fine Foods is a reverse domain name hijacker

Australian company nailed for abusing cybersquatting dispute policy proceedings.

An Australian seller of cereals and granola has been found to have engaged in reverse domain name hijacking in a .au Dispute Resolution Policy dispute.

Carman’s Fine Foods went after the owner of Carmans.com.au, whose name is Ross Wayne Carman.

Mr. Carmen used the domain name for one of his businesses.

The complainant made some silly arguments, including:

The Respondent’s surname is distinct from his former business name and the Disputed Domain Name in that it is “carman” (singular) rather than “carmans”, signifying either a plural or possessive. This is a significant differentiation between the Disputed Domain Name and the Respondent’s surname, which is what he is likely to have been commonly known as.

In finding reverse domain name hijacking, panelist John Swinson wrote:

The Panel considers the Complainant launched the proceedings following several failed attempts to purchase the Disputed Domain Name at what it considered to be a reasonable price. The Complainant ought to have known its Complaint was doomed to fail.

The Panel considers that the Complainant neglected to address the fact that the registered trade marks it claimed to own are in fact not registered in the Complainant’s name but are governed by a license. This fact was only brought to light by the Respondent, and the Complainant addressed this only through a supplemental filing. Further, the Complainant misrepresents the statements, and the effect of the statements, made by the Respondent in email correspondence in relation to the sale of the Disputed Domain Name.

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