Prior communications contradicted claims in cybersquatting dispute.
A Finnish textiles and interiors company has been found (pdf) to have engaged in reverse domain name hijacking over the domain name Vallila.com.
Oy Vallila Interior Ab of Helsinki, Finland filed the complaint and said that the only reason someone would be interested in this domain is to target its trademarks.
But Vallila is actually a suburb of Helsinki. The complainant failed to mention that, and also failed to submit its complete communication with the domain name owner in which it admits as much.
Instead, the complainant only submitted the communication showing that Linkz Internet Services (Frank Schilling) wanted $32,000 for the name.
It left this part of its inquiry out of its submission:
“I’m a private person and would be interested in buying the domain for the use of our flea market/circulation group active in Vallila (which is a city part in Helsinki, Finland). …”
That made it easy for the three-person World Intellectual Property Organization panel to find that the case was filed in bad faith.
The law firm Eversheds Ltd represented Oy Vallila Interior AB. For its sake, I hope that it wasn’t aware that it was submitting only part of the pre-dispute communications.
John Berryhill defended the domain name.
Berryhill commented to Domain Name Wire:
This is why it is important for domain registrants to save all of their sales inquiries and communications, and to review previous correspondence when a UDRP complaint is made. Frequently, they will find out that an agent of the complainant had previously inquired to buy the domain name, but the complaint will not include those communications. Or, as in this case, they will solicit a sales price, use that as the “offer to sell” for the UDRP, and leave out parts of the correspondence that undercut the trademark claim.