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Is this reverse domain name hijacking?

Cybersquatting case between vineyards should have never been filed.

A single-member UDRP panel has denied a California company’s attempt to get the domain name WilsonVineyard.com. I think the panelist should have also considered reverse domain name hijacking.

The complainant is Wilson Vineyards, a California vineyard that uses the domain name WilsonVineyards.com (plural). The respondent was Wilson Vineyard, a Pennslyvania vineyard that uses the domain name WilsonVineyard.com (singular).

Based on this information alone, it’s pretty clear that the complainant would not be able to make a case that the respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the domain name. In fact, panelist David P. Miranda determined that the complainant failed to even establish a prima facie case that the respondent lacked rights.

If the California company has any claim here, it’s a trademark claim that falls outside the scope of UDRP. The company or its legal representative doesn’t seem to understand what UDRP is for.

Miranda didn’t consider the issue of reverse domain name hijacking. I think he should have.

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