Panelist was attorney for complainant found to have engaged in reverse domain name hijacking.
What do you call it when a World Intellectual Property Organization UDRP panelist files a UDRP on behalf of a client and it results in a reverse domain name hijacking finding?
I’m not sure, but I bet many readers can come up with a term for this.
Charne Le Roux is a panelist for WIPO. She recently acted as attorney for Nedbank Limited of South Africa in its UDRP case over GreenTrust.com.
That’s a bit of a conflict. But it’s even worse when you consider that Nedbank was found guilty of reverse domain name hijacking in the case!
Read that again: a WIPO panelist represented a client in a UDRP that resulted in an RDNH finding.
And this wasn’t one of those simple “the domain was registered before the trademark” cases. Among the reasons for the RDNH finding were that the complaint misrepresented the number of adverse UDRP decisions against the respondent.
The original complaint said that the domain owner had 8 UDRP losses. Despite noting that the complete list was attached to the complaint, it was left off.
The number should have been 3 instead of 8. (The panel also noted that they were marginal decisions.)
The Panel finds the Complainant’s original case in this regard unsatisfactory and notes that no explanation has been provided as to how the double mistake (as to both the number of previous cases, and the content of the exhibited schedule) occurred, nor has any apology been offered, beyond an acceptance in the Supplemental Filing that the error was “regrettable”.
Despite determining that Le Roux and her client filed the case in abuse of the policy, the final decision only mentions her firm (Adams & Adams) and not her name. Many decisions state both the attorney name and the firm.
Perhaps her colleague panelists wanted to keep her name out of the record?
John Berryhill represented the domain name owner.