It’s not every day that a domain name owned by a major corporation becomes the subject of a UDRP filing. According to the World Intellectual Property Organization, a UDRP was filed against LALA.com (Lala.com or LaLa.com). The UDRP is WIPO Case D2017-1351.
When I did a Whois search on this seemingly generic (and certainly valuable) domain name, I did a doubletake. LaLa.com is owned by Apple. Yes, the Apple Inc. from Cupertino, California. Apple is one of the world’s largest companies, and it certainly has a legal department that can defend its right to own this domain name.
If you visit LaLa.com, the domain name doesn’t seem to resolve, although nameserver records show that the domain name has Apple.com nameservers. LaLa.com was created in January of 1996, making it over 21 years old. Apple acquired Lala.com when it acquired a music service called Lala, and Cult of Mac has the interesting story about its acquisition.
Even without the history of the Lala brand that Apple acquired, Lala.com is a valuable domain name in its own right. Estibot lists its value at $176,000. NameBio does not have any historical sales listed for this domain name.
The complainant in this case is listed as Comercializadora de Lacteos y Derivados, S.A. de C.V. I had never heard of this entity before seeing the UDRP, so I had to Google it to try and understand why it thinks it should have the rights to the Lala.com domain name. It looks like it is affiliated with a business (and brand) called Lala, which can be found on both Lala.com.mx and GrupoLala.com.
In order to win this dispute, the complainant will need to prove that the domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. Based on the fact that Apple acquired a business that was also called Lala, it seems to me that proving the bad faith element will be pretty challenging. I will be keeping an eye on this UDRP filing because it involves a valuable LLLL.com domain name.
Update: According to the WIPO website, Apple won the UDRP, although the decision is not yet posted at the time of this update.