Tourism group let the domain name expire ten years ago and is trying to get it back.
The geographic domain name Gstaad.com has been successfully defended in one of the most detailed UDRP decisions I’ve ever read.
The good news for the domain owner is that he won this case. The bad news is that he still faces a related court action in Switzerland.
Gstaad is a ski and vacation region in Switzerland. Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus, a tourism board for the area, filed the dispute.
Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus uses the domain name Gstaad.ch. Until 2006 is also owned Gstaad.com but if failed to renew it.
That’s when Dimitri Dimitriadis bought the domain name in an expired domain name auction for $31,250. He put the domain name to use promoting businesses in the area, including his own.
Immediately after registering the domain name, Dimitriadis heard from Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus’ lawyers. Dimitriadis’ lawyer at the time communicated with them and pointed out many reasons why a UDRP would be unsuccessful.
When Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus filed the case at the end of last year it failed to mention the discussions that took place a decade ago.
The three-person panel found that Dimitriadis has rights or legitimate interests in the domain name and did not register it in bad faith. The panel declined to find reverse domain name hijacking despite giving “serious consideration” to the matter. The panel was particularly concerned that the filing didn’t mention the communications between the parties that took place in 2007.
The panel noted that this is the third UDRP case the complainant has lost and that future panels might not be forgiving.
Although I find some fault in the panel not finding RDNH, its decision should still dissuade the complainant from filing future UDRPs with similar facts. Also, I give the panel credit for a very well-reasoned decision in this case. The decision will certainly be cited in the future.
Weinmann Zimmerli represented the complainant and John Berryhill represented the respondent.