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In-Store music company tries reverse domain name hijacking

Umix, LLC filed cybersquatting complaint that was an abuse of the UDRP.

A store that provides in-store music to businesses has been found to have engaged in reverse domain name hijacking over the domain name Umix.com.

Florida company UMix, LLC filed a complaint against Memeplex LTD of the United Kingdom. Memeplex offers a music-mixing app called Umix.

Umix, LLC was highly selective in its short complaint filed with the World Intellectual Property Organization. For example, it included a screenshot from the Wayback Machine that showed non-use of the domain, while ignoring many other captures that showed use of the domain. It also mentioned that it filed a complaint with Apple in an effort to get Umix removed from its App Store, but didn’t mention that the complaint was denied.

In finding reverse domain name hijacking, panelist John Swinson wrote:

The Complaint in this case is thoroughly deficient, and consists of less than half of one page in submissions in support of the Complainant’s case. In the Panel’s view, the Complainant made no real attempt to discharge its onus of proving the three elements of the Policy.

Further, the Complainant intentionally omitted key information in relation to the Complainant’s Apple complaint against the Respondent. The Complainant did not disclose the fact that the Respondent had responded to that complaint, and Apple had closed the complaint following the Respondent’s response. The Panel considers the Complainant filed the Complaint in an attempt to acquire the Disputed Domain Name in the wake of its unsuccessful attempt to prevent the Respondent from offering its UMIX Software via the Apple App Store. The Complainant also selectively chose to provide a historical screenshot of the website at the Disputed Domain Name which showed a parking page, and did not disclose the fact that there had been active websites associated with the Disputed Domain Name at other times since it was acquired by the Respondent in 2011. In fact, the Complainant stated that the Respondent had “squatted” on the Disputed Domain Name “for years”. This is clearly untrue, and the Complainant must have known this.

Further, despite having only recently acquired a registration for the Trade Mark, the Complainant provided no evidence of common law or unregistered trade mark rights, or of its reputation at any given time. The Complainant must have known that this would be necessary to show bad faith registration, and it is unclear whether the Complainant was aware of the 2011 date that the Respondent acquired the Disputed Domain Name.

It appears that Umix, LLC represented itself. Panelists sometimes cut a misguided, self-represented complainant some slack. But this case was too egregious.

After dealing with both an attempt to remove its app from the app store and an attempt to wrongfully take its domain name, I wouldn’t be surprised if Memeplex takes proactive action to put a stop to this.

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