Company owns Hottie.com.au, wants Hottie.com.Easton Corp Pty Ltd, which sells swimwear and lingerie at Hottie.com.au, has been found to have engaged in reverse domain name hijacking over the domain name Hottie.com.
The current owner of the domain name bought it for $10,000 back in 2005. Easton Corp apparently communicated with the prior owner about buying the domain name before the current owner acquired it.
In finding reverse domain name hijacking, the three-person WIPO panel wrote:
The Panel recognizes that the Complainant is not represented by counsel but finds nevertheless that this is an appropriate case for a finding of attempted Reverse Domain Name Hijacking. The Complainant acknowledged in the Complaint that the Domain Name was created many years before the Complainant’s business was launched. It was readily ascertainable that the registration had changed hands months before the Complainant’s trademark was granted and published. This all should have given the Complainant pause before advancing an argument that the Respondent registered and used the Domain Name in a bad faith effort to exploit the Complainant’s trademark, which is what the UDRP is designed to combat. Further, the Complainant does not seem to have noticed that its communications about purchasing the Domain Name were with a previous owner. Bringing a UDRP action nearly twelve years later against a subsequent owner has cost the owner substantial sums, when there was no realistic chance of proving that this party had acted in bad faith. The UDRP was intended to serve as an efficient means of redress against cybersquatters, not a cheap alternative to commercial negotiation with legitimate domain name holders.