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Reverse domain name hijacking in AquaFX.com case

Panel says case was a Plan B attempt to get the domain name.

A three-person National Arbitration Forum panel has found Aqua Engineering & Equipment, Inc. to have engaged in reverse domain name hijacking over the domain name AquaFX.com.

The company failed to convince the panel that it met any of three necessary points of UDRP: that the domain was confusingly similar to a mark in which it has rights, that the domain owner lacks a legitimate interest in the domain, and that the domain was registered in bad faith.

Aqua Engineering & Equipment relied on a stylized trademark for “Aqua Fx The Leaders in Reverse Osmosis”. Furthermore, this mark was registered after the respondent registered the domain name.

The panel determined that this was a “Plan B” reverse domain name hijacking attempt.

The domain owner was represented by ESQwire.com.

In a different National Arbitration Forum decision today, panelist Calvin A. Hamilton declined to find reverse domain name hijacking for the domain name shippingquestscams.com. His reason: he found that the domain was confusingly similar to the complainant’s trademark. That’s unfortunate; panels should discourage complainants from filing complaints against non-commercial gripe sites.

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  1. Marianne Brizio says

    When the opposition can pick their own arbitrators, and they hire attorneys against you, and you are giving less than 10 days to respond. Hell yeah you are going to lose. Doesn’t mean you were not correct, it means that better funded people win in court most of the time!

    • Anon says

      Marianne — what are you whining about? You are the one who started this whole mess by abusing the UDRP system. You were found guilty of that abuse — trying to steal someone else’s property instead of paying for it in a normal business transaction — and now you complain about “the opposition”?

      The owner of AquaFX.com is not “the opposition”; they are the rightful owner of the property that you were trying to steal without paying for it.

      Shame on you for forcing the owner to defend his property for no good reason. You selfishly allowed your misplaced sense of entitlement to someone else’s property to force the owner to expend money on lawyers and arbitrators that they would not have otherwise had to incur. Horrible!

      • Nick says

        perfect comment Anon, but I doubt a person that does attempted theft has any morals to hear what you are saying.

    • John Berryhill says

      Having money and a lawyer does not change the facts, but you seem to have some very basic misunderstandings. It does not matter how much money you have, or who your attorney may be, when the domain name could not have been registered in bad faith because it pre-dated your mark. But these statements are simply false:

      “When the opposition can pick their own arbitrators” – The other side did not ‘pick their own arbitrators’. The other side nominated three people, of whom one was chosen. You nominated three people, of whom one was chosen. The third panelist was chosen from a list of five names, from which you struck two, and the other side struck two. There is no advantage for the respondent in that process.

      “and they hire attorneys against you” – Well, yes. What do you do when someone files a legal claim against you? Hire a dentist? If your point is that you cannot afford to do so, then that might also suggest something about the value of the business signified by the alleged trademark.

      “and you are giving less than 10 days to respond” – Respond to what? You filed your complaint, the other side gets to respond. Quite often the other side has no idea what a UDRP is in the first place, and will go through a considerable amount of their 20 day response period just trying to figure out what was going on. The UDRP doesn’t provide for further submissions. Because some people find that to be a problem, the NAF allows additional submissions on a shortened timeline for both sides. But the Panel is not even obligated to consider those additional submissions. If you had read the rules of the proceeding YOU started, you would have known that the NAF would give you five days to submit additional material after the Response, and that the Respondent would have the exact same five days to follow up to that.

      If the idea you had was that you get to walk in, call someone bad things, and they don’t get to defend themselves, then you have an interesting idea of what is “fair”.

      This was a fight you picked. This was a procedure you chose. If you go around picking fights, yeah, some people are going to fight back.

    • Rick Schwartz says

      Wow, a real live THIEVING Domain NAME HIJACKER having learned nothing and has no clue that HER NAME, Marianne Brizio, will come up in search FOREVER as a THIEF! Way to go Marianne Brizio!! YOU my dear have a new title: REVERSE DOMAIN NAME HIJACKER! Take a BOW! You are now infamous!

      • John Berryhill says

        There’s always the possibility that someone is having a lark, and pretending to be the complainant here in the comments just for giggles.

        Once in a while we do get a live one here, but as you know, people on the internet are sometimes not who or what they claim to be (like our recent acquaintance).

  2. John says

    Okay, well since Elliot removed my comment linked to above (really? lol), I will just mention it here. My comment was to the effect that there can only be one party guilty of abuse of process in a UDRP complaint. Ergo, there is no slippery slope by which a penalty for the predator should result in penalties for domain investors. The issue is abuse of process, period.

    • Issac says

      I thought you were spamming. Why in the world would you think someone would waste their time clicking on a link just to read a comment from you?

      • John says

        Ha. Age and experience, Issac. People know what kind of posts I make since long before the name Issac showed up. 😉

        • Issac says

          Really? I’ve never seen you here before and just see you talking to yourself alot . I thought you were new. The only known John here is John Berryhill and deservedly so

          • John says

            LOL – Not a good idea to contradict yourself when trying to lie: “I’ve never seen you here before and just see you talking to yourself alot.”

            Berryhill may be famous but I’ve certainly posted in the top four blogs far more than him, so perhaps you have been in hibernation. Never saw your name before this troll attack, however.

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