A new Turkish car company tries a novel argument.
A World Intellectual Property Organization panelist has found Türkiye’nin Otomobili Girişim Grubu Sanayi Ve Ticaret Anonim Şirketi guilty of reverse domain name hijacking in a dispute over togg.com.
The Complainant plans to sell Turkey’s first domestically-produced automobile. It was formed in 2018 and registered the country code domain togg.com.tr for its business.
It wants togg.com, but of course, that was registered a long time ago. Perhaps realizing the dates were not in its favor, the Complainant made a rather novel argument that the domain owner “keeps” the domain in bad faith.
Attorney John Berryhill, representing the domain owner (who uses the domain, by the way), was incredulous. In his response, he wrote:
…Not a single place in the entire Complaint, does the Complainant come right out and say that the domain name was registered after the mark was announced. The Complaint does not say that, because the Complainant knew, when it filed the Complaint, it would be a false statement. The only other place where the Complainant attempts to make a bad faith reigstration allegation is at page 14 where the Complainant alleges:
“It is likely that the Respondent keeps the disputed domain name in bad faith in an aim to obtain unfair benefits from the high reputation of the TOGG Trademark which created a tremendous impression due to the great launch.”
Keeps? The Respondent “keeps” the disputed domain name in bad faith? What is that nonsense supposed to mean under the Policy? Again, the Policy requires the Complainant to show that the domain name was registered in bad faith and was used in bad faith. But the allegation here, along with the empty chest-thumping about a “great launch” of no products whatsoever so far, is purely intended to mislead the reader. It is not a violation of the Policy to “keep” a domain name which has been used for the same business for 18 years. The Complainant knew it had to use the word “keeps” instead of “registered”, because the Complainant knows this case was filed as a bad faith attempt to steal a legitimately registered and used senior name.
The Complainant later tried to withdraw the complaint, but the Respondent said it would only agree if the Complainant agreed not to file another UDRP against the domain or pursue it via judicial means. Apparently, the car company did not agree, so panelist Matthew Kennedy decided the case in the Respondent’s favor and found reverse domain name hijacking.
Gün + Partners represented the Complainant.
Shows you the kind of deceit most UDRP are filed on when they know they have to pay to acquire the name.
How much did they spend in building the factory the car was built on?
How many millions went into their car investments ?They are wanna be THIEVES period.
A lot of new car companies and businesses don’t make profit and run on a loss specially new ones in Asia and rely heavily on government handouts and subsidies so don’t assume it’s an Uber rich company you’re dealing with. Just remember even Tesla was near bankruptcy nearly 2-3 years ago! Using argument you’re rich is null void. But a very opportunistic job by this Turkish company and this owner should now park this domain post this reverse hijacking attempt.
For the past 20 plus years companies and countries spend exponentially more on trying to get a domain name by any other means than to purchase it. Not a coincidence but a well established pattern of behavior.
can i ask a question .
All other factors and conditions same for togg.com but what if owner of togg hired any broker to market and sell the domain name and in the due process if that broker contacted this company Türkiye’nin Otomobili Girişim Grubu Sanayi Ve Ticaret Anonim Şirketi , and after his contact , company filed udrp. Will established contact from broker have reversed rdnh finding.
When a broker contact any prospective company of same name for generic domain name , can this factor be used by company for bad faith registration in udrp. I have heard that contacting buyers can establish rdnh but if contact is made by broker , will it also fall under bad faith registration.