Company didn’t exist when the domain was registered.
A World Intellectual Property Organization panel has found Kosmos Global Holding, S.L. to have tried reverse domain name hijacking kosmos.com.
Kosmos Global, a sports and entertainment company in Spain, uses the domain name kosmosholding.com.
The case was dead on arrival because the domain owner, Orion Global Assets, acquired the domain before Kosmos Global existed. Therefore, the domain owner could not have registered it to target the Complainant.
Kosmos Global’s lawyers at MERX IP cherry-picked some old UDRP cases to show that “retroactive bad faith” can be found. But the panel noted this line of thinking has been discredited. The panel wrote:
…In particular, given that the Complainant’s representatives quoted extensively from UDRP case law, the Panel thinks it is unlikely that they were unaware of the current overwhelming view of UDRP panelists as to the need to prove registration as well as use in bad faith and that the more than 10 year old cases cited in that regard are no longer relevant.
Apparently, the Complainant also omitted from evidence an email its counsel sent to the domain owner’s broker offering to buy the domain. This omission is particularly interesting because the Complainant did include evidence that a broker reached out to it about acquiring the domain. That broker, Lumis, told the Complainant, “we do not own Kosmos.com nor are we representing the owner of this domain.” Still, Kosmos wrote in its complaint that the Respondent “contacts potential buyers through a supposedly independent broker.”
Lumis contacted the Complainant about a year before Kosmos Global reached out to the domain owner’s actual domain broker.
John Berryhill, the attorney who represented Orion Global Assets, told Domain Name Wire there might be some benefit to including information on your sales landers about brokers. For example, you could identify an exclusive broker, state that the registrant does not conduct outbound solicitations and if you receive one, it is unauthorized, etc.