Dispute between two parties over Viking.com domain name is clearly outside the confines of UDRP.
A World Intellectual Property Organization panel has determined that Office Depot’s ownership of Viking.com does not constitute cybersquatting. It also found that the complainant Aurelius RHO GTM Development Limited engaged in reverse domain name hijacking by filing a cybersquatting dispute over the domain name.
The complainant acquired Office Depot’s European Viking business at the end of 2016. It claims that the Viking.com domain name should have included in the sale even though it wasn’t listed on the intellectual property list for the transaction. Office Depot claims that the domain wasn’t included as part of the deal.
Backing up Office Depot’s case, Aurelius tried to buy the domain name from Office Depot afterward. It was unsuccessful.
Office Depot says that Aurelius’ UDRP filing was a last ditch effort to try to get the domain and prevent Office Depot from selling it to someone else.
Indeed, the dispute was doomed to fail. It would be impossible to show that Office Depot registered the domain in bad faith since it acquired it for its Viking office products business.
The three-person panel wrote:
Perhaps the most striking deficiency, however, which is sufficient in this Panel’s mind to establish RDNH, is the lack of any allegations in the Complaint as to how the Respondent registered the disputed domain name in bad faith. But looking at the circumstances in their entirety, it is not difficult to understand why there are no such allegations – the facts at hand simply do not provide any basis for them. This disregard of such a striking deficiency in the Complainant’s case is enough to sustain a finding of RDNH, and accordingly, the Panel so finds.