Panelist makes an easy decision that the Complainant filed its case in abuse of the UDRP.
A Canadian International Internet Dispute Resolution Centre panel has ruled (pdf) that Boost Collective Inc. tried to reverse domain name hijack BoostCollective.com.
Boost Collective Inc. is a Canadian company that helps music artists distribute their music. It uses the domain name boostcollective.ca.
Its owner really, really wants the matching .com. But that’s owned by a U.S. business that was formed before the Canadian company was founded.
Panelist Alan L. Limbury had no trouble finding in favor of the U.S. company and finding reverse domain name hijacking against Boost Collective Inc. When you read the Complainant’s arguments, you’ll understand why.
The Complainant was so misguided that I’m going to paste some of its more ridiculous arguments verbatim.
…We are currently only able to operate our site on boostcollective.ca as the Respondent is using our name and goodwill to gain traffic to her Domain Name and thus promote the
Respondent’s services. This causes major confusion for US users as they look for boostcollective.com, and end up on a different site, selling marketing and promotional services as well…
Yes, you can only operate on the .ca because there was an existing business with the .com before you started!
We have made numerous efforts to reach out to the Respondent for an amicable resolution by giving her a different domain that would NOT cause confusion (eg. boostcollective.org).
Gee, how kind of you to offer the .com owner the option to switch to the .org.
Millions of consumers, site traffic, users, and customers know Boost Collective and its likeness as ours, and with many being US-based, they assume that our TLD will be .com, causing them to land on her website.
And that’s the .com domain owner’s problem?
The Respondent is also refusing to move the Domain Name over even after multiple outreaches. We have reached out multiple times over email, LinkedIn, and phone number only to be rudely declined of any potential resolution. The Respondent is unwilling to cooperate or even talk to us. Alongside this, the Respondent has shown a blatant refusal to come to an agreement even after multiple attempts at a discourse in good faith.
If the Respondent were operating in good faith, she would make an effort to work with us to find an alternative domain name that is both identifiable to her brand and also not misleading the millions of impressions and tens of thousands of customers assuming that the Domain Name is ours. All these reasons make it evident that the Respondent is domain squatting – waiting for us to continue growing until we are forced unfairly to pay an enormous sum for the transfer of the Domain Name. Having the Domain Name transferred to us will put an end to misleading users, visitors, customers and clients, prevent our trademark from being tarnished, and prevent us from losing revenue from traffic unfairly diverted to a different business that people aren’t looking for.
Um…I just…I truly don’t know what to say.
Limbury called this a classic Plan B reverse domain name hijacking case.
The case does not list legal representatives for the parties.
Thank you to Internet Commerce Association’s UDRP digest for bringing this case to my attention.