Panelist lets complainant off the hook for filing dead-on-arrival UDRP.
A World Intellectual Property Organization panel has found in favor of the owner of Maaji.com in a UDRP case, but for some strange reason did not find the complainant guilty of reverse domain name hijacking.
The case falls in line with previous reverse domain name hijacking decisions. The domain name owner registered the domain name in 2001. The earliest the complainant claims use of the term Maaji in commerce was 2007. How could the domain owner have registered the domain name in bad faith?
Yet, panelist Stephanie G. Hartung let complainant MAS S.A.S. off the hook:
Thereafter, the Panel is not persuaded that the circumstances of this case justify the finding of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking. Apparently, there is no hard evidence that Complainant was ill motivated in lodging the Complaint. In the circumstances of this case, the mere fact that Complainant waited seven years from the registering of its MAAJI trademarks until the filing of this Complaint alone does not necessarily demonstrate that Complainant attempted to deprive Respondent of the disputed domain name. Moreover, in fact it remains unanswered up until now as to why Respondent ever registered the disputed domain name as it still rests in the dark what motivation Respondent had in the acquisition of the disputed domain name apart from – to put it in the Respondent’s own words – “its attraction as a dictionary word or common term”. Accordingly, this case was not so hopeless that it should not have been brought before a UDRP panel for a decision.
That’s a bad rationale for not finding reverse domain name hijacking.