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French consulting firm tried to reverse hijack domain name

Panel has “no hesitation” finding reverse domain name hijacking.

A World Intellectual Property Organization panel has determined that Emerton, a consulting firm in France, attempted reverse domain name hijacking. Emerton was represented by Gevers, a European intellectual property law firm.

The company filed a UDRP against the domain name Emerton.com, despite the current owner of the domain having registered it nine years before the consulting firm claims rights in the mark.

The consulting firm’s baffling allegations attempt to argue that the domain name might have infringed on other companies’ Emerton trademarks over time, since clearly this domain wasn’t registered to target the consulting firm.

WIPO’s three-person panel noted that “this Complaint is without merit at all and was entirely contrived in order to obtain a domain name that the Respondent had bona fide registered many years prior to the commencement of the Complainant’s business or the registration of its trade marks.”

It continues:

Following the initial refusal of the Complainant’s offers for purchase of the disputed domain name the Complainant still attempted to obtain the disputed domain name by filing this Complaint under the Policy in circumstances that there was clearly no registration in bad faith, or evidence of targeting of the Respondent by the Complainant and therefore in which the Complaint could never succeed. The Panel also notes that the Complainant was advised by experienced counsel in these proceedings and therefore should have been aware of the prospective outcome if a decision was issued but still chose to file the Complaint. This has wasted the Respondent’s time and resources unnecessarily and the Panel has no hesitation in finding that this Complaint amounts to a case of reverse domain name hijacking.

That’s a pretty shameful result for a law firm that only deals in intellectual property.

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