Maker of popular crytocurrency wallet tries to reverse domain hijack MetaMask.com.
The developer of MetaMask has been found to have tried reverse domain name hijacking the domain name MetaMask.com.
MetaMask is a popular cryptocurrency wallet used by over 20 million people.
ConsenSys, the creator of MetaMask, filed a cybersquatting claim under UDRP against the owner of the domain. The owner of the domain registered it in 2005, well before ConsenSys’ MetaMask existed. Therefore, ConsenSys could not prove that the domain was registered and used in bad faith, which is a requirement to win a domain in UDRP.
The Complainant also claimed that the domain was used in a phishing campaign. The domain owner says that’s not the case, and his attorney asked the company for a call to discuss it.
Instead of setting up a phone call, ConsenSys filed the UDRP. It didn’t mention the pre-case correspondence, either. That came back to bite it. Panelist Adam Taylor wrote:
The Panel considers that the following circumstances, taken together, warrant a finding of RDNH.
First, the Complainant has failed by a large margin. In the Panel’s opinion, the Complainant knew or at least should have known that it could not prove one of the essential UDRP elements. The Complainant quoted extensively from UDRP case law and the Panel thinks it unlikely that the Complainant was unaware of the current overwhelming view of UDRP panellists as to the need to prove registration as well as use in bad faith. Indeed, the discussion of the third element in the Complaint is simply headed: “The domain name is being used in bad faith”, i.e., omitting the requirement for registration in bad faith.
Second, the Complaint lacks candour in that it makes no mention of either (a) the Complainant’s email to Mr Schleifer of October 5, 2021, stating that someone had apparently adopted Mr Schleifer’s identity to try and sell the disputed domain name to the Complainant and had thereafter used the disputed domain name for phishing/fraud or, more importantly, (b) the October 6, 2021, response from Mr Schleifer’s attorney confirming that Mr Schleifer did own the disputed domain name (and denying his involvement in phishing/fraud). Even if, despite this email, the Complainant still somehow harboured doubts about the identity of the person who approached it to sell the disputed domain name, and notwithstanding that ultimately nothing turned on this issue given the lack of registration in bad faith, the Complainant ought not to have relied on the alleged use of a fake identity without at least mentioning the denial by the attorney for the very person whose identity was allegedly faked.
ConsenSys was internally represented. Lee & Hayes represented the domain owner.