Settlement overturns bad WIPO decision.
A World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) wrong has been righted.
In February 2018, a three-member WIPO panel made an atrocious ruling that ADO.com should be transferred to a Mexican bus company.
Ado.com is owned by Francois Carrillo, the owner of Domaining.com.
Carrillo subsequently sued to halt the transfer of the valuable domain name.
Last month the parties settled. The settlement order (pdf) reads:
…In light of the Parties’ agreement that (i) Plaintiff’s interests in respect of the ado.com domain name are legitimate; (ii) Plaintiff did not register or use the ado.com domain name in bad faith; (iii) Plaintiff’s registration and current use of the ado.com domain name do not violate Defendant’s rights under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1114, 1125(a) and 1125(d)…
So the settlement overturns a mistake by the WIPO panel. That said, the court order states that each party will bear its own costs and attorneys’ fees. If indeed Carrillo came out of pocket on legal costs to settle the claim, then the wrong has been only partially righted.
Update: I connected with Carrillo today via email:
Now that the case is settled, what are your plans for the domain?
No special plans. Sell the domain if I receive an appealing offer, or use it myself further if I have a service idea that can benefit of this brand.
The settlement says that both parties are paying their own attorneys’ fees. How much did it cost you to defend your domain?
All court cases are expensive ( in comparison defend an UDRP case is insignificant), and this case was no exception. But, I thought it was important to not only make sure that I kept ado.com but to also obtain a court order clearing me of any suggestion that I violated the UDRP. This has been done!
What advice do you have for domain owners who lose a wrongly-decided UDRP?
Talk to an attorney who has handled court cases following wrongly-decided UDRP decisions so that you know your options. But, more importantly, get involved with the ICANN Working Group that is currently reviewing the UDRP so that it can be improved to lessen the chances of finding yourself in a similar situation.
(Hat tip: GOTW.com)