It was a week of misinformed and malevolent cybersquatting disputes.
There were a lot of reverse domain name hijacking cases last week. There was also one where the panelist didn’t find reverse domain name hijacking but it appears the Complainant filed a case knowing that the domain owner was dead.
Add one more notable UDRP to the list for last week: Brime.net, decided on June 24 at National Arbitration Forum.
Brime, LLC filed the UDRP against the owner of Brime.net. The company was founded last year and the domain owner registered the domain in 2001. So the case was dead on arrival, and panelist Terry Peppard ruled that the domain wasn’t registered in bad faith.
The owner of the domain didn’t respond and Peppard didn’t consider if it was reverse domain name hijacking. I think this was a mistake. Beyond the dates that doomed this case to failure, the domain is owned by someone named Robert Brime.
Brime, LLC probably didn’t know this when it filed the case. The Whois is record is obscured under GDPR. But it should have withdrawn the case once National Arbitration Forum notified it of the owner’s identity. (OK, it never should have filed the case, but it certainly should have withdrawn it at this point.)
I also take issue with Peppard’s decision to allow the case to be filed in English even though the registration agreement for the domain is in Spanish and Brime is in Spain. Perhaps Peppard decided this because he knew the case would be denied. But I take issue with Peppard accepting the Complainant’s language request:
However, Complainant has requested that the language of the proceeding should instead be English. In support of this request, Complainant submits that, during nearly all of the time that the domain name has been registered, the resolving website has been rendered exclusively in English, which demonstrates that Respondent is conversant in English. Respondent does not contest this assertion…
Here’s the thing. First, the domain didn’t resolve for a long time and the Complainant notes this. Now, it resolves to a login page. That login page has the English word “Log in”, but username and password are in Spanish. That doesn’t indicate that the domain owner likely speaks English.
Maybe he does speak English, and maybe Peppard didn’t bother with the language issue because he knew the case was dead anyway. But saying “Respondent does not contest this assertion” when he might not even speak the language is troubling.
Balch & Bingham LLP represented Brime, LLC.
David Michaels says
This looks like another case of wire fraud to hijack a 20 year old domain name.
18 U.S. Code § 1343 – Fraud by wire, radio, or television:
Whoever, having devised or intending to devise any scheme or artifice to defraud, or for obtaining money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises, transmits or causes to be transmitted by means of wire, radio, or television communication in interstate or foreign commerce, any writings, signs, signals, pictures, or sounds for the purpose of executing such scheme or artifice, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.
Should the lawyer who filed this UDRP complaint face charges from the DOJ?