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.
Nice write up, Elliot
When large brand owners get hit with frivolous UDRPs, perhaps they’ll feel a bit of our pain and better appreciate the need to do more to fix the UDRP to remove the incentives to file these overreaching complaints.
You also wrote up a UDRP on Qualcomm- https://www.domaininvesting.com/udrp-filed-against-qualcomms-imod-com-domain-name/
Fox Sports, Thomson Publishing, and Earthlink were also recently hit with UDRPs.
sportssouth.com (Fox Sports)
tpp.com (Thomson Professional Publishing)
Apple has about as much chance of losing this battle as the Domain King losing Queen.com.
There needs to be legal and punitive penalties for reverse domain hijacking.
There needs to be pain associated with filing frivolous lawsuits.
How is this not a reality in 2017?
ICA or any other entity fighting for the legitimate business of domain investing should be lobbying for this around the clock, if they are not already doing so.
Apple is an (almost) trillion dollar corporation. This isn’t a primary domain asset, it’s way lesser (despite being a nice domain.) A UDRP like this will only dent the bank account of the Complainant. However, I don’t see how this causes any “pain” at all to Apple. They won’t even blink.
Grupo LALA is one of the largest dairy group in Latin America, founded in Mexico in 1950.
They own, among others, a couple of old TMs on the word term “LALA”, registered in 1987 and 1992 (Nice classes 30,32,33), but the protection is limited to the Mexican market.
They had also a 1992 TM for the US market (Nice classes 29,32), but it was ended.
That said, the domain in question was mainly used for a music business, before being acquired by Apple, and before that it was owned by a US IT company called ITL America Inc.
It was also briefly for sale, longtime ago, and parked as well.
IMHO the Complainant has no chances of getting the domain: no predating TMs, no common law rights, no bad faith in use.
Once again I’m surprised when I see such big companies being so ill-advised … time and money wasted again … 🙂
Clearly…CLEARLY…there is no bad faith usage here on the part of Lala.com’s rightful owners. On the merits of that alone, complainant has no legal standing. Nor any moral/ethical standing.
The reason why the UDRP was filed may be that LALA wasn’t able to get a response from Apple in regards to their inquiry of interest to purchase the domain name and needs from Apple to get their attention. How about that?
That may be true, but the UDRP will likely be more of an annoyance and backfire.
If they weren’t getting a response and wanted to be sure an offer was reviewed, they should probably have done research to find a domain broker that has worked with Apple and tiried to use their services.
Different culture, different approach.
Parked for a while.
(not sure if pre-TM) They entered the U.S. market a few years back.
forgot to mention: NetworkSolutions parking page.
I think it’s shameful for the udrp people to whack the domain owner if they lose and to lightly slap reverse domain hijackers.
If I got to make the rules, there would be no udrp and domains would be owned by whoever registered/registers them. Regardless on any special circumstances.
If someone comes up with an idea, registers a domain to make that idea come to fruition, then everyone should sit back and be able to do nothing! You can’t just trademark, buddy up with anal law makers and grab the ideas at a later date for yourself. That’s called stealing and theft!
Apple Owned 3banana.com.
I am negotiating to buy 4banana.com, people give me advice on whether to buy 4banana.com domain? I want to do a banana forum. Thank you!
Great idea! Worth millions (at least)! Good luck, banana-man!