Parent company of Network Solutions defends valuable watchdog.com domain name.
Newfold Digital, parent company of Network Solutions and other domain registrars, has successfully defended its domain watchdog.com in a UDRP. The panel found the Complainant, Watchdog USA, LLC, guilty of reverse domain name hijacking.
The domain was originally used by Newfold’s predecessor for a website monitoring tool over two decades ago. It is currently inactive.
The Complainant registered a trademark for Watchdog this year. It uses the domain watchdogpm.com.
In finding reverse domain name hijacking, the three-person panel wrote:
The Panel notes that Respondent does have rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain name for purposes of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy. It also notes that the disputed domain name registration predates Complainant’s first claimed rights in the trademark WATCHDOG by almost 21 years. Nevertheless, Complainant asserts that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in violation of its trademark rights.
Complainant’s trademark came into registration long after the disputed domain name was registered and Complainant did not substantiate its vague claims of lack of rights or legitimate interest or bad faith registration and use.
The Complainant was represented internally. Riebling IP, PLLC represented Newfold Digital.