Respondent tried to buy the domain from the complainant, but ended up buying it from Web.com after it expired.
A company that spent $16,000 to acquire the domain name Nightscaping.com can keep the domain name, a World Intellectual Property Organization panel has ruled.
According to the decision, a company called Nightscaping previously owned and used the domain name, as well has had trademark rights to the name. That business eventually shut down and offered its intellectual property for sale.
At the same time, the respondent in the case had been trying to acquire the Nightscaping.com domain name but was unable to directly purchase it from the complainant. The domain name was registered at Network Solutions (a Web.com company) and eventually expired. New Venture Services Corp (another Web.com subsidiary) took over the domain name registration and sold it to the respondent for $16,000 at the end of 2015.
The complainant argued that it inadvertently let the domain name expire.
The three-person WIPO panel determined that the facts suggest the domain name was not registered in bad faith. However, it said this convoluted case could be better suited for court should there be a dispute about what transpired with the trademark and domain name lapse.