Yet another company called Bespoke wants to get Bespoke.com without paying for it.
When Garth Piesse paid $18,805 to acquire the domain name Bespoke.com in an expired domain name auction in 2014, I bet he didn’t expect to be hit with a couple cybersquatting complaints.
But he has.
Plaintiff Bespoke LLC markets custom tours in New Orleans. It was created in 2013.
It claims that Piesse is cybersquatting by holding the generic and dictionary domain name Bespoke.com.
From what I can tell in the lawsuit, it appears that the Louisiana company inquired through a Uniregistry Market landing page about buying the domain name. Piesse responded with an $8.5 million asking price.
The Louisiana company’s lawsuit claims:
Upon information and belief, Defendant routinely and regularly engages in similar
activities and ploys. http://whois.domaintools.com/piesse.com indicates Piesse is associated with
about 39,330 domain names.
I think the plaintiff fundamentally misunderstands what cybersquatting is. Its characterization of the ACPA furthers this belief:
In enacting the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act of 1999 (“ACPA”), 15 U.S.C.
§ 1125(d), Congress recognized and condemned the growing practice in which a “Cybersquatter,”
often through the use of a computer program that buys up a name as soon as it becomes available,
buys multiple domain names (typically for a retail price well under $100 each) and then holds the
names hostage, and attempts to re-sell them (often, as here, with the assistance of a broker) at an
inflated price to a company or individual with a legitimate interest in or use for the domain name.
This characterization of ACPA seems to be missing a key element, doesn’t it?
Amusingly, I imagine Piesse can point to the previous cybersquatting complaint against the domain name as proof that the domain name has value beyond this plaintiff!