WIPO panelist says this isn’t a case of cybersquatting.
This story has been updated to reflect legal actions taken after the UDRP decision.
Shahryar Oveissi has been found guilty of reverse domain name hijacking in a dispute over three domain names, but he successfully got the domains taken down with a temporary restraining order.
Oveissi is the son of the former Shah of Iran’s Imperial Army, Gholam Ali Oveissi, who was assassinated in Paris in 1984. He was raised in the United States and is involved in various entrepreneurial and philanthropic endeavors.
Michael Benjamin registered shahryaroveissi.net, shahryaroveissi.org, and oveissicrimefamily.com to create sites critical of Shahryar’s father and to allege that Shahryar inherited his fortune. Oveissi argued Benjamin was cybersquatting with these registrations.
The panel ruled that the Complainant did not show he has trademark rights in his name.
In finding reverse domain name hijacking, World Intellectual Property Organization panelist W. Scott Blackmer wrote:
The Panel finds that the Complainant brought the Complaint in bad faith, within the meaning of Rule 15(e), in an attempt at RDNH. The Complainant may feel that his reputation and that of his family have been unfairly impugned, but the UDRP is not the proper forum to resolve such issues. The Complainant should not have pursued a remedy designed only to protect trademark rights when he was unable to prove that he has such rights and that they were under attack.
While UDRP was not the appropriate mechanism for this type of dispute, Oveissi took the matter to court after receiving the decision. A Superior Court judge in Connecticut granted a temporary restraining order that resulted in the sites being taken down pending the outcome of the case.