Panelist rules that Cybersquatting dispute was an attempt to reverse hijack LevelUp.gg.
An adjudicator has found (pdf) that video game consultancy Level Up Management BV tried to reverse domain name hijack LevelUp.gg.
It’s just the sixth cybersquatting case for .gg domains under the Channel Islands Dispute Resolution Service Policy.
.Gg has become a popular domain name for gaming companies, and level up is a popular term in gaming.
Panelist Nick Lockett wrote an extremely thorough decision. It covers the history of .gg in gaming and the origins of the shorthand “GG” in the industry.
Level Up Management BV uses the domain name LevelUpAgency.eu. Its representative, Mats Adams, tried to buy LevelUp.gg when it expired. But he was beaten to it by domain investor Steven Hartley of Media Name. Adams then tried to buy the domain from Hartley. The negotiations didn’t get very far because Adams would only offer $300 while Hartley’s lowest offer was $5,000.
At one point, Hartley followed up with Adams to see if there was still interest in the domain. Adams responded:
There is but I’m not willing to go much higher from my last offer and if you want thousands of dollars for a domain name like this that won’t come from me.
It’s not that important for me.
If you’re willing to come to an acceptable agreement then I will take it of (sic) your hands, if not so be it.
Adams didn’t mention this communication in his complaint. He only mentioned that Hartley tried to sell the domain to him.
Referring to this omission, Lockett wrote:
“Yet, the complaint alluded to price negotiations but then failed to disclose this critical response. This failure to be entirely candid was one factor that tipped the balance into the conclusion I came to on [reverse domain name hijacking].”
Lockett also found it odd that Adams changed his social media handles to have gg at the end of them after filing the initial complaint. It turns out that Adams initially filed a complaint that included the twitter handle @levelupeu. The complaint was so poor that the .gg registry provided him with a template for the complaint and Adams filed a second complaint, this time referring to twitter and LinkedIn handles of levelupgg.
The panelist also questioned Adams’ claim that he used the domain leveupagency.eu only because levelup.gg was registered when he selected the domain:
If there were any credibility to Mats Adams’ assertion that levelupagency.eu was only registered because levelup.gg was registered at the time, then as both levelupagency.gg and levelupgg.com were both available for registration, the Adjudicator takes the view that one or both of these would have been registered (levelupgg.com being registered on 27 th April 2019 and levelupagency.gg never having been registered). It is noted that no complaint or domain dispute proceedings have been issued by the Complainant against this levelupgg.com domain by the Complainant.
Lockett denied the complaint and found reverse domain name hijacking.
Ankur Raheja of CyLaw Solutions represented Hartley.