Panel determines that company filed “Plan B” dispute after failing to buy domain name.
A Czech Arbitration Court panel has found that AVK Group attempted reverse domain name hijacking by filing a cybersquatting dispute over the domain name AVK.com. The valve company, which has annual sales of €773 million, uses the domain name AVKvalves.com.
AVK Group first attempted to buy the domain name but was apparently unhappy with the asking price. It then filed the dispute.
It actually filed the dispute twice. The first time it neglected to select which jurisdiction it would submit to should the dispute head to court. While a panel did not consider the case, the Respondent did reply to it, so AVK Group was apparently aware of the arguments against its claims. Despite seeing these arguments, it went ahead and filed the dispute again.
The domain name owner is an investor with many short domain names. This is a defensible practice, and the panel believed that the investor did not register the domain to try to extract money from AVK Group.
The panel wrote:
The UDRP was intended to serve as an efficient means of redress against cybersquatters, not a cheap alternative to commercial negotiation with legitimate domain name holders. The Panel therefore finds and declare that the Complaint was brought in bad faith and constitutes an abuse of the administrative proceeding, and accordingly that the Complainant attempted Reverse Domain Name Hijacking within the meaning of the Policy.
The Complainant was represented by Plougmann Vingtoft Advokatanpartsselskab. The Respondent was represented by Muscovitch Law P.C.