A WIPO panelist finds reverse domain name hijacking because the domain was only used in bad faith, not registered in bad faith.
World Intellectual Property Organization panelist Tony Willoughby just wrote a decision that reflects a key requirement of UDRP: the domain has to be registered in bad faith, not just used in bad faith.
The case involves Adventure SAS, a French company that sells paramotors, paragliders, and trikes. It filed a cybersquatting dispute against BlackHawk Paramotors USA and the domain AdventureParamotorsUSA.com. BlackHawk was a distributor of Adventure SAS’s goods but that relationship was terminated.
It seems clear that BlackHawk is currently using the domain in bad faith. The website states that it is a ‘certified reseller’ of the Complainant’s products, which is no longer true. When the Complainant asked the Respondent to shut down the website, the Respondent said it would do so for $10,000 to help recover the cost.
But the UDRP states that a domain must be registered and used in bad faith, not just used in bad faith.
That’s an issue for Adventure SAS, because panelist Willoughby notes that it’s quite clear the domain was registered in good faith as part of a reseller arrangement.
BlackHawk didn’t respond to the dispute, but Willoughby did his duty by considering reverse domain name hijacking. He found that Adventure SAS filed the dispute in abuse of the policy because it was clear that the domain wasn’t registered in bad faith.