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Company files UDRP against deceased man, and I have questions

This UDRP looks really dirty to me.

Blue image with the letters UDRP

Borum A/S, a company in Denmark, has lost a UDRP if filed against the domain name Borum.com. The decision was correct, but I have deep concerns about the Complainant and its representatives at Patrade A/S for filing this case in the first place.

The Whois record clearly states that the domain is registered to Thomas A. Borum, D.V.M. in Natchez, Mississippi. This would show that the registrant has a legitimate interest in the domain and the UDRP should fail.

In its filing, the Complainant stated (as recounted by the panelist):

the Complainant asserts that the registrant’s name in the WhoIs records may in fact be an alias used to match the disputed domain name.

Someone could certainly use a fake surname in Whois. But I spent 30 seconds Googling his name and found this:

Image of search results for Thomas A. Borum, D.V.M.

The first two results are for the domain registrant’s LinkedIn profile. The third (and many other) search results make it clear that Borum died in a plane crash in September last year.

I see only two possibilities here. One is that the Complainant didn’t take a minute to search the Respondent’s name before asserting it might be false. The other is that it Googled his name, realized he was dead, and decided it was an opportune time to file a UDRP.

Both of these possibilities are bad. Either it failed to undertake basic research before making its allegation, or it filed a case knowing the person was dead and didn’t mention it.

The Complainant even calls out the domain owner for not checking for trademarks before acquiring the domain. The panelist summarized:

At the very least, says the Complainant, the Respondent willfully failed to search for conflicting trade marks, prior to acquiring the disputed domain name.

So the Complainant suggests that the domain registrant needed to search trademark databases before registering the domain but it (maybe) didn’t bother to Google the domain owner’s name before filing the case?

Making matters worse, panelist Alistair Payne noted that even if Borum had searched the trademark database, all of the registrations post-date the registration of the domain.

Payne ruled in favor of the deceased domain registrant. But I have a dirty feeling about this case.


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    Leave a Comment

  1. Malthe says

    Isn’t that the same legal counsel Patrade A/S as in the WIPO Case No. D2017-0679 regarding the domain name QUEEN.com ?

    Knud Jepsen A/S v. Rick Schwartz, Virtual Dates Inc

    The complainant was represented by Marie Lykke Kristiansen of law firm Patrade A/S, Denmark.

  2. John Berryhill says

    Of course the scumbags at Patrade knew he was dead. That’s why they thought they would win.

  3. Richard says

    They knew.. They did the search, found the results and figured a dead guy can’t defend himself… scum

  4. David Michaels says

    The lawyers at PATRADE A/S are a disgrace to Denmark.

    This UDRP was a blatant attempt to steal a domain name that was registered in 1998 and used by Thomas Borum for his Borum Veterinary Clinic and Borum Aviation according to archive .org snapshots.

    Thomas Borum was an airline transport pilot, Flight Instructor, and a Ground Instructor, according to his website. In 2007, he was offering Aerial Advertising services.

    Complainants and their lawyers who make material false statements in a UDRP are engaged in a fraudulent activity and should be prosecuted.

    • Rick Schwartz says

      “The lawyers at PATRADE A/S are a disgrace to Denmark.”

      Both the attorney, Marie Lykke Kristiansen, and the firm of PATRADE A/S are going to be the new POSTER FIRM for Reverse Domain Name Hijacking.

      They are now NOTORIOUS Hijackers!!

      They are going to PAY the price and become FAMOUS for it!!

      They WILL be disgraced and will BEG to be removed!!

      NO WAY!!

      HER picture will be displayed PROMINENTLY on HallOfShame.com and it will NEVER EVER be removed!!

  5. Auditor says

    It may be fair to speculate the lawyers at Patrade A/S are probabably mentored by David Weslow. This whole situation is like a “David Weslow” type of behavior.

  6. nvoi says

    How would you go about acquiring a domain of a deceased person ethically? I am looking at a domain and from what I can see, the owner has passed away. I have called his wife and left a voicemail but she doesn’t answer.

      • n says

        Thanks, this domain is for a a very large customer of mine, they are not able to wait and suggesting UDRP which I don’t want to try. They hold trademarks for the domain name going back longer than the domain registration.

        I have suggested them alternative domains but they are not willing to accept them.

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