Panelist blasts software company for egregious reverse domain name hijacking attempt.
A French software company has been found guilty (pdf) of reverse domain name hijacking in a cybersquatting dispute.
Enodo filed the dispute against enodo.com, a domain that was registered in 2002. The company was just founded last year.
In its dispute, Enodo argued that the domain name is “the most effective domain name” for its own use.
That’s about the only part of its argument it got right in this completely misguided UDRP.
The company tried to buy the domain before filing the UDRP, making this a “Plan B” reverse domain name hijacking. According to the Respondent, here’s the pre-dispute correspondence:
(a) An email from the Complainant dated April 27, 2021 stating: “Hi, I’m interested in using Enodo.com for a side project. Is it available for sell?”
(b) A reply from the Respondent dated April 28, 2021 stating: “I’m not interested in selling right now.”
(c) A response from the Complainant of the same date stating: “OK, let me know if you change your mind.”
(d) A further email from the Complainant (the date of which is not shown) stating: “I want to know if you are now available for sale enodo.com? I can offer you $500 for it.”
In finding reverse domain name hijacking, World Intellectual Property Organization panelist Steven Maier wrote:
In the light of the fact that the disputed domain name was registered over 20 years before the Complainant came into existence or applied for an ENODO trademark, the Complainant’s misrepresentation that the term ENODO had no meaning in any language (being a matter the Complainant could certainly have verified before making that submission and certifying it as true), and the clear evidence of its approaches to the Respondent seeking to buy the disputed domain name, the Panel is in no doubt that the Complainant has brought this proceeding in bad faith, in what is known as a “Plan B” scenario, having failed in its attempts to negotiate a purchase of the disputed domain name from the Respondent. Furthermore, given that the Complainant is legally represented, the Panel finds this to be a particularly egregious case of attempted Reverse Domain Name Hijacking.
LS Avocats represented Enodo. This appears to be the second UDRP it has filed, and it lost both of them.