Company turns to courts (again) to try to overturn adverse UDRP ruling.
Technology Online, LLC has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Nevada to overturn a UDRP against the domain name Jeffers.com.
Veterinarian supply company Jeffers, Inc. filed a UDRP with World Intellectual Property Organization earlier this year and won the case.
Technology Online argues that the panelist in that case erred because she considered the date Technology Online acquired the domain name (2012) rather than when it was first registered (1996) when determining registration in bad faith. Since Jeffers didn’t get a registered trademark until 1997, Technology Online argues the domain name wasn’t registered in bad faith.
This argument ignores years of precedent in UDRP, in which the date the current registrant acquired the domain name counts as the registration date.
It also ignores the actual reasoning of the panelist in the UDRP case. Although Jeffers didn’t register a trademark until 1997, it claimed a first use date of 1976. The panelist said this wasn’t contested by Technology Online and thus Jeffers.com was registered well after the name was used. (The original case doesn’t address if Jeffers had trademark rights dating to 1976, however.)
There may be other legitimate reasons Technology Online should dispute the outcome, but it doesn’t do a good job of laying them out in the case.
Jeffers.com was part of the Mailbank portfolio (later Net Identity) acquired by Tucows. People with the last name Jeffers could get free @jeffers.com email addresses at the domain.
The lawsuit includes an interesting communication from someone who used three free email addresses and was frustrated that Tucows terminated the service a few years ago with little notice. (That’s a good warning to anyone using free email on a domain that could be sold in the future).
Technology Online says it planned to bring back the free email service as a legitimate use of the domain name, but its two year delay in doing so will certainly be questioned.
This isn’t the first time Technology Online has turned to the courts after losing a UDRP. The Nevada company previously sued after losing a UDRP for UrbanHome.com.