Firm makes a number of assertions that were “factually incorrect.”
Law and Business Enterprises Worldwide S.L. has been found (pdf) to have engaged in reverse domain name hijacking.
The Spanish firm, which provides legal and tax services, tried to get the domain name labe.com through UDRP.
Ann Labe, a real estate agent in the United States, registered the domain name in 1998 and previously used it to promote her services.
Despite this being obvious to anyone who did basic research, and despite Labe’s identity being provided to the Complainant after filing the Complaint, Law and Business Enterprises Worldwide S.L. made some wholly inaccurate statements (as summarized by the panel) in the amended complaint:
“…the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name, as evidenced by the fact that it has been inactive since the date of registration.”
“The Respondent’s registration of the disputed domain name does not reflect a desire to use it in connection with her own activities but rather to take advantage of the notoriety of the Complainant’s LABE mark and its labe.es domain name.”
“There is ample evidence that the Respondent registered the disputed domain name primarily for the purpose of making a profit by selling, renting or otherwise transferring it to the
Complainant, who owns prior rights, or to a competitor of it.”
It also wrongly stated the length of time it has owned similar domains that include its LABE mark.
In other words, there was a lot wrong with LABE’s filing.
Attorney John Berryhill, who represented the domain owner, noted to Domain Name Wire that the archive.org snapshot of the site helped the Respondent with her case. It clearly showed prior use of the domain.
Berryhill has previously disagreed with advice to block Wayback from indexing your site, and this is a case in point. Berryhill noted:
If you have legitimately registered and used a domain name, you want there to be objective evidence – available to anyone – to show your history of legitimate use. The suggestion that one should block archiving in order to deprive pirates of site copy in the event that you do not renew your domain name is not a good idea.
Panelist Antony Gold found the Complainant to have engaged in reverse domain name hijacking for a litany of reasons.
The Complainant was represented by what appears to be its legal arm, LABE Abogados. This is the second law firm in as many months to be found guilty of reverse domain name hijacking when trying to upgrade its domain name.