UDRP usually can’t be used to take down a gripe site.
Luxury real estate auction service Concierge Auctions has lost a cybersquatting dispute against the domain name ConciergeAuctionScam.net. The domain name was used to point to negative press about the real estate company.
World Intellectual Property Organization panelist Frederick Abbott determined that Concierge Auctions did not show that the domain owner lacked rights or legitimate interests in the domain, and did not show that it was registered in bad faith.
Panelists often consider free speech principles when both the Complainant and Respondent are located in the United States. It helps when the domain name contains a derogatory domain that shows that the domain isn’t owned by the trademark holder. Abbott wrote:
By effectively adding the term “scam” to Complainant’s trademark, Respondent puts Internet users on notice that the website to which it is linked is not associated with Complainant, and that the Internet user should expect to find negative information.
Currently, ConciergeAuctionsScam.net resolves to a Darkspire Hosting page that says the domain has been suspended. So it appears that Concierge Auctions got the site removed through some other means.
Moses & Singer LLP represented Concierge Auctions. The domain owner did not respond to the dispute.