A simple question could have prevented this cybersquatting complaint.
A National Arbitration Forum Panelist has found that a complaint brought by Gary Chupik, a Washington man, over the domain name EliteMindset.com was attempted reverse domain name hijacking.
The facts follow a common pattern: Complainant wants a domain and tries to buy it. Failing to get it for the price he wants, he registers a trademark for the name and then files a UDRP.
It’s called “Plan B” reverse domain name hijacking.
In this case, the Complainant states that he sought legal advice but he appears to have filed the case on his own. It was a weakly argued case that was essentially dead on arrival.
This case is an example of one that could be avoided if ICANN or UDRP providers implemented a simple change to the filing process. They could ask:
Do you claim trademark rights to this domain name that pre-date the domain owner’s registration of the domain name?
It could then explain the requirement to prove a UDRP.
This would have saved Chupik from wasting his time and money filing the case. It would have saved the Respondent from having to respond to the case. Everyone would have been better off. Except, I suppose, the forum.
Alan Built says
As you stated, the forum needs its take.
Bashar Al-Abdulhadi says
Can the Respondent actually sue them for the money he paid to defend his name? (legal fees and so?)
Andrew Allemann says
He can sue in U.S. court. But it costs a lot of money to sue.
Zak Muscovitch says
This is an excellent suggestion and one which I think would prevent a lot of complainants from erroneously bringing a UDRP. Others however, including some panelists, have raised the point that it is incumbent upon complainants and/or their counsel, to familiarize themselves with a legal procedure and the associated case law, before embarking on it.
Jothan Frakes says
The suggestion of the CREATION date is smart. It might halt plan B RNDH. One thing to consider is that some argue that the date of transfer or in some cases renewal of the domain reset that clock.
Those who argue renewal resets the clock seem to want to put the registrant into a position of perpetual review of rights as they might evolve. I don’t subscribe to that point of view, as it could serve to undermine the integrity of a registrants rights in their long-held domains when tested with certain venues or panelists if artfully presented.
Transfer of ownership is a little different… there might be circumstances where the creation date or registration date is not the same as when the current registrant became the current registrant, such as in the case of a purchased domain name being subsequently subject to UDRP.
I am not a lawyer, and I gratefully have not been the respondent nor complainant on any UDRP.