A World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) panel has found Candy Cloud IP LLC guilty of reverse domain name hijacking (pdf) in a particularly egregious case. And bizarrely, a bunch of people named Mike Morgan were notified about the decision.
The Complainant filed the case over CandyCloud.com against a Mike Morgan in Canada.
Morgan registered the domain well before the Complainant had any trademark rights in the term. To try to overcome this obvious shortcoming, the Complainant referred to another company’s (now abandoned) trademark registration as if that somehow showed bad faith.
The panel wasn’t buying any of it and found reverse domain name hijacking.
So why did lots of Mike Morgans learn about this case?
One of Candy Cloud IP’s arguments was that Morgan owned 768 domain names, ostensibly to show that the Respondent was up to something nefarious.
Here’s the thing: a simple review of the reverse Whois lookup showed that many of these domains had to do the other Mike Morgans, including a founding partner in Morgan Sports Law, a graphic artist, a photographer, the president of an engineering firm, the principal of Morgan Analytics in Texas, and others.
So when WIPO sent the notice of decision, it sent it to the owners of over 50 domains completely unrelated to the case. And it CC’d all of them, exposing their email address.
Joel Huotari of WilliamsMcCarthy LLP represented the Complainant. John Berryhill represented the domain owner.