Anything.com successfully defended its Sante.com domain name in a UDRP that was defended by Jason Schaeffer of ESQWire.com. The UDRP was filed by an entity called LOGOCOS Naturkosmetik AG at the Czech Arbitration Court (CAC). The UDRP resulted in a finding of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking (RDNH).
Anything.com owns a large portfolio of keyword domain names, including domain names like Medicine.com, Manager.com, Favor.com, Public.com, and a large portfolio of valuable 3 letter .com domain names. Anything’s portfolio is easily one of the top ten domain portfolios based on the quality of its generic domain names.
The word “sante” means “health” in French, so it would seem perfectly fine for a domain investor to own Sante.com. The complainant in this UDRP owns the Sante.de ccTLD domain name, and it is clear why it would want the better .com domain name. Apparently, it opted to file a UDRP instead of buying the domain name from the registrant.
There is some good language for domain investors in the UDRP decision. I highlighted a few excerpts with additional commentary:
“In this case, the Complainant has provided no evidence at all to show that the word SANTE has become distinctive by itself of the Complainant’s business, so that Internet users would assume that the disputed domain name must be connected with the Complainant.”
I think this is helpful because there have been many times I have seen a UDRP filed against a generic domain name and had no clue who would have filed it. At a minimum, in my opinion, that generic term should be so strongly associated with a particular brand that it should be clear who would feel that they have a right to fight for the domain name via UDRP.
“In this case the domain name consists of a common word and has been used for many years to locate a web page displaying pay-per-click links relating to the descriptive meaning of that word, with one exception of a link to a page which offered the Complainant’s products. The Complainant has not shown that the Respondent has taken advantage of its reputation or that of any other owner of a similar trademark or that the Respondent has otherwise misled Internet users.”
Strong language to reinforce the right of a registrant to own a generic domain name and park it with links related to the generic nature of the domain name.
“The fact that the Respondent recently rejected an unsolicited offer by the Complainant to purchase the disputed domain name, pointing out that it was worth much more than the amount offered, is no evidence that it was originally registered more than 20 years ago with a view to sale to the Complainant.”
Looks like a classic “Plan B” type of UDRP. Complainant seems to have tried to buy the domain name and failed. Instead of upping their offer or trying to work out a deal, they opted to file a less expensive UDRP instead.
The panel also concluded that this was a case of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking:
“The mere failure of a complainant to establish the requirements of the UDRP is not sufficient to amount to reverse domain name hijacking, since a complaint may be brought erroneously in good faith. However, in this case the complaint is so lacking in substance and so devoid of any evidence of bad faith on the part of the Respondent that the Complainant could not have genuinely believed that the requirements of the UDRP were satisfied.”
Nice win for Anything.com.