Panel has harsh words for Complainant.
A National Arbitration Forum panel has found Empower Media Partners, LLC to have tried reverse domain name hijacking the domain EmpowerMedia.com.
The three-person panel said it believes the Complainant misled it about when it obtained registered trademark rights. The panel also found the Complainant’s common law trademark claims lacking.
Furthermore, the domain registrant incorporated a company with the Empower name before acquiring the domain name.
It found in favor of the Respondent on Right or Legitimate Interests and Registration and Use in Bad Faith.
The panel determined this to be a case of Plan B reverse domain name hijacking, in which a company files a dispute after failing to buy the domain name.
In finding reverse domain name hijacking, the panel wrote:
Such a finding is not made where a complainant has been merely over-optimistic in bringing the claim and it is generally made only in a clear case of harassment or where the Complaint has been brought recklessly and without good ground. The Panel finds that this is an appropriate case for making such a finding. It is clearly a case frequently referred to as a Plan B case, one where a complainant goes through the purported process of negotiating to buy the domain name but then resorts to filing proceedings to force the domain name holder to transfer the domain name. There is also a lot to be said for making the finding in suitable cases that will, hopefully, deter the bringing of patently unjustified or frivolous proceedings, of which this is one. In particular, the Complainant should have given the Panel correct information on the date when its trademark was registered but it did not do so.
Blank Rome LLP represented the Complainant and Ankur Raheja, Cylaw Solutions, represented the domain name owner.
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