Do you call this cybersquatting?
A National Arbitration Forum panelist has found in favor of clothing company Guess in a dispute over the domain names guessandco.info, guessandco.org, guessandcoshareholder.info, theguessbreadcompany.com, theguessconstructioncompany.com, and theguessprivatemerchantcompany.com
Guess was recently found guilty of reverse domain name hijacking in a case filed with National Arbitration Forum, and I’d argue that the current case is also an abuse of the policy.
But panelist Ho Hyun Nahm found in favor of the clothing company instead.
The domain name owner didn’t respond, but the complainant handed over the evidence that should have been used to deny the case.
A man named Jerry Guess registered the domain names. Guess has a long history of having grand visions that don’t come to fruition. The FBI busted him and he served time for some of his activities.
While his businesses may have had more fluff than substance, he registered the domain names at issue to support his business operations and his company was named after him.
The clothing company Guess submitted an article to the panel about Jerry Guess’ former activities, which the panel used to ascertain “bad faith”:
…the Panel agrees that Respondent has previously engaged in bad faith behavior, and holds that Respondent registered and used the disputed domain names in bad faith.
So if someone engaged in bad behavior in business they should be assumed to have also registered domain names in bad faith? Domain names that include the person’s last name? Domain names that match proposed business ventures? Ventures that have nothing to do with clothing?
This isn’t cybersquatting. It’s not what UDRP was created for. I believe this was a poor decision.
I reached out to Jerry Guess and he said he is considering his options.