This case was dead on arrival.
TicketSms s.r.l., an online ticketing company, has been found (pdf) to have engaged in reverse domain name hijacking over the domain names ticketsms.com and ticketsms.net.
The complaint followed a common fact pattern: a business that didn’t exist when the Respondent registered the domain name covets the domain name. In this case, it was a Plan B case because the business first tried to buy the domain before resorting to a UDRP filing.
The Respondent registered the domain in 2009, well before the Complainant existed. Yet the Complainant tried to argue that the Respondent was still cybersquatting:
They point out that even though the disputed domain names were registered in 2009, several years before the beginning of the Complainants’ business activity and trademark registration, they have never been used by the Respondent to distinguish goods and services on the market, and the Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain names. According to the Complainants, this confirms that the Respondent’s purpose has always been the sale of the disputed domain names for profit.
A complainant has to show that the person registered the domain to target the Complainant, not to sell it in general to another person or company.
In finding reverse domain name hijacking, the World Intellectual Property Organization panel wrote:
In the present case, the Complainants were well aware that the Respondent could not have known and targeted them in 2009, when he registered the disputed domain names, because they had started activities under the TICKETSMS trademark only in 2015. The Complainants, being represented by counsel, must have understood that the only logical conclusion from this is that the Respondent could not have registered the disputed domain names in bad faith under the Policy, and that the Complaint could not therefore succeed. Nevertheless, the Complainants proceeded with filing it.
Studio Legale Antonio Gallo represented the Complainant, and Adlex Solicitors represented the domain name owner.