WIPOs panelists are going soft on obvious cases of reverse domain name hijacking.
Clasen Quality Chocolate, Inc. of Madison, Wisconsin filed a UDRP against the three letter domain name. The domain name is owned by internet service provider Earthlink.
Earthlink got the domain name through an acquisition LINC Internet Holdings, which had previously acquired a company called ComQuest.
The chocolate company reached out to Earthlink about buying the domain name. Earthlink’s counsel verified that the company didn’t have anything connected to the domain anymore and said the company would consider offers. He noted that the company has not sold any domain for less than $100,000.
Clasen submitted a $10,000 offer. Earthlink refused.
Then Clasen demanded the domain name for $1,500 and threatened to file a UDRP if Earthlink didn’t comply.
This is an incredibly obvious case of reverse domain name hijacking. Panelist Robert A. Badgley even says that it should have never been brought. But then he lets Clasen off the hook:
The Panel will refrain from finding Reverse Domain Name Hijacking in this instance because this Complaint appears, on balance, to be more misconceived than malicious in nature.
Was the complainant misconceived? Sure. But how can you say it wasn’t malicious? It’s a textbook case of that: give me the domain for $1,500 or I’ll file a UDRP.
And Clasen was even represented by counsel at the law firm Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren.