Foodservice company goes after a domain registered before it existed.
College Fresh, a company that provides food service to fraternities and sororities, has tried to reverse domain name hijack CollegeFresh.com, a World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) panelist has decided. The company uses the domain CollegeFresh.net.
The company was founded in 2010, but CollegeFresh.com was registered by the current owner in 2005. In other words, this case was dead on arrival because there was no way to show it was registered in bad faith to target the then-non-existent company.
The Complainant was clearly misguided, as this statement in its complaint shows:
The domain name should be considered as having been registered in bad faith as the Respondent registered the domain name collegefresh.com on October 7, 2005, but as seen in the holding page provided as Annex 5 is not making a legitimate non-commercial or fair use, or in fact any use of any kind, of the domain name on the date of this Complaint.
According to the WIPO decision, the Complainant offered the domain owner $500 for the domain after filing the UDRP.
In finding reverse domain name hijacking, panelist Robert Badgley wrote:
The Panel concludes that Complainant has engaged in Reverse Domain Name Hijacking (“RDNH”). Indeed, this is a classic case of RDNH. Complainant, represented by counsel, filed this Complaint, which was doomed to fail because of the impossibility of Respondent having registered the Domain Name in bad faith five years before Complainant and its trademark came into being. After making an unsolicited offer to buy the Domain Name in 2016 and getting no response (a fact not discussed in the Complaint), Complainant eventually launched this baseless proceeding and required Respondent to hire counsel.
The law firm Meyer Capel represented College Fresh.