Panel determines it was a “Plan B” filing.
A World Intellectual Property Organization panel has found (pdf) Dagi Giyim San to have tried reverse domain name hijacking dagi.com
The Turkish clothing retailer uses the domain dagi.com.tr and, according to the dispute, tried to buy the domain name from Abstract Holdings International Ltd. When it failed to get the price it wanted, it filed the UDRP.
Abstract acquired the domain as part of a portfolio of hundreds of domains in 2012. The portfolio included additional four letter .com domains. The company successfully convinced the panel that it didn’t buy the domain to target the Complainant.
The three-person panel wrote:
The Complainant’s entire case rests on the assumption that because its DAGİ trademark is well known in Türkiye, and because the Disputed Domain Name is identical to that trademark, then the person who registered the Disputed Domain Name must be Turkish or speak Turkish, and must have registered the Disputed Domain Name because of its connection with the Complainant. It has ignored completely (1) the fact that four-letter domain names may be intrinsically valuable anywhere in the world and hence the Disputed Domain Name could have been registered by a person unconnected with Türkiye; and (2) there are persons and businesses outside Türkiye that use the term “dagi” as their name or part of their name or as an acronym, completely independently of any connection with Türkiye.
It appears that the Complainant tried to buy the domain for up to $50,000 before filing a UDRP case as a Plan B.
The panel wrote:
The Panel is also concerned by the evidence that the Respondent has submitted as to the Complaint having likely tried to buy the Disputed Domain Name. The Respondent points out that the Complainant’s own evidence contains a copy of an email exchange dated December 23, 2021 between an individual with an email address at mnmedia.com and an individual at godaddy.com. Clearly the former had been enquiring as to the price of the Disputed Domain Name and given this email is in the Complainant’s evidence was presumably acting on behalf of the Complainant. The Respondent then produces further evidence from GoDaddy’s online system showing that an individual from a company called RNV Analytics made an unsolicited offer for USD 5,000 on February 1, 2022. The Respondent produces evidence to show that RNV Analytics is an organisation that provides analysis services to the Complainant. The Respondent then shows that a further offer was made on March 8, 2022 via the Uniregistry brokerage service, by a person using an email address that is not identifiable but which the Respondent says is likely the same person or at least another person acting on behalf of the Complainant. This offer was USD 40,000. A counter-offer was made by the Respondent for USD 110,000 and then the prospective buyer in a communication of March 14, 2022 raised his price to USD 50,000 and said that this was their best offer and that they would take the legal route if this offer was declined.
The Panel thinks it more likely than not that these offers were all made on behalf of the Complainant. The Panel agrees with the Respondent that the Complainant cannot have properly certified that “the information contained in this Complaint is to the best of the Complainant’s knowledge complete and accurate” in circumstances where it has not disclosed it was prepared to pay USD 50,000 to purchase the Disputed Domain Name and threatened to “take the legal route” if this offer was declined…
Grup Ofis Marka Patent Inc represented the Complainant and Muscovitch Law P.C. represented the Respondent.