The domain owner didn’t file a formal response, but the panelist used common sense to find in his favor.
This morning I wrote about a panelist who failed to consider reverse domain name hijacking. Now, I’d like to give credit to a panelist for using common sense in a UDRP.
Panelist Sok Ling MOI decided a case in favor of the owner of MC5.com. This is despite the domain owner not filing a formal response to the case.
Wayne Kramer is an American guitarist who co-founded the Detroit rock group Motor City 5 (MC5) in the 60s. He has some rights to the trademark Mc5; he registered it as a U.S. trademark last year with a claimed first use date of 1967.
But the domain name owner, based in China, probably had never heard of Kramer and MC5. And the registrant clearly trades in short domain names made up of numbers and letters. Sok Ling wrote:
The disputed domain name directs to a landing page offering it for sale. The website at the disputed domain name also promotes the Respondent’s website at “www.08123.com”, where Internet users may purchase short domain names composed of letters and/or numbers. Therefore, the Respondent seems to be in the business of domain name investment and sale of short domain names, which could be a legitimate business. Accordingly, it would appear that the Respondent acquired the disputed domain name due to its value as a short domain name rather than due to its significance as a trade mark owned/used by the Complainant.
This is common sense. It’s highly unlikely the domain registrant acquired the domain to target the Complainant. Yet, there are cases when panelists bend over backward to help the Complainant, especially when the domain owner doesn’t file a formal response. So kudos to the panelist in this case.