Second level .au domain battle probably led to this dispute over a third level domain.
Homebuilder.com.au IP Pty Ltd tried to reverse domain name hijack homebuilder.net.au, a World Intellectual Property Organization panel has determined (pdf).
This appears to be the second case under the .au Dispute Resolution Policy in which the dispute might be about the second level .au domain rather than getting its hands on the third level .net.au.
The Complainant owns homebuilder.com.au and filed a priority application to get the second level homebuilder.au domain when they were released last year. The Respondent, Luxury Home Developments Pty Ltd, also filed an application. Under the second level domain rules, the parties must work out an agreement, or the second level domain remains in purgatory.
Of course, if the Respondent no longer owned the .net.au domain, it wouldn’t be eligible to get the second level .au domain.
This was also the case in a dispute filed against scuba.net.au.
In finding reverse domain name hijacking, the panel wrote:
The Panel notes that the Complainant has legal representation in this proceeding. The Complainant made little attempt to substantiate its assertion of a strong reputation while the evidence on record shows that its platform was operating for a period of mere days prior to the filing of the Complaint. The Complainant knew that “home builder” is a pair of dictionary words because it uses them in their generic sense on its website. It also knew that the Respondent is a home builder. While the Respondent did not disclose its plans for the disputed domain name prior to this proceeding, there were no reasonable grounds to believe that it had engaged in any bad faith conduct. The record shows that the Complainant previously sought a commercial arrangement whereby the Respondent would either sell the disputed domain name or remove its priority status for the <homebuilder.au> domain name. In the Panel’s view, the Complainant resorted to the auDRP as a “Plan B” to harass the Respondent or use the proceeding as leverage in procuring the “.au” direct domain name. The Complainant’s supplementary filing does not alter that view; if anything, the fact that it expressly addresses the possibility that the Complaint may be denied confirms that view.
LegalVision ILP Pty Ltd represented the Complainant, and Cooper Mills Lawyers represented the domain owner.
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