In late March, I wrote about the ATC.com UDRP filing. ATC.com had been created back in 1990, and the complainant owned the domain name for many years. The decision was just made, and the domain owner will retain this valuable domain name. The ESQwire.com law firm defended the domain name on behalf of the owner.
The primary reason for the decision going in favor of the domain name owner was that the three person panel found that the “Complainant has failed to establish sufficient trademark rights to the letters ATC.” Because of this finding, the panel did not have to decide whether or not the domain owner had rights or interest in owning the domain name, nor did the panel need to consider whether the owner had registered and used the domain name in bad faith.
In looking at the decision (which should be published publicly soon), it appears that the panel declined to consider Reverse Domain Name Hijacking for this UDRP proceeding. Since it does not appear in the decision, I do not know why it was not considered. Based on the fact that the panel found that the complainant didn’t even establish trademark rights to the three letter combination (not even considering that the owner reportedly registered the name back in 1990), it seems like RDNH should have been at least been considered and discussed.
Even without having a RDNH finding, it is still a good decision in light of the length of time the owner has owned the domain name combined with the high value of the domain name. As an observer, the decision is not as fulfilling as it may have been had the panel opined on the owner’s right to the domain name rather than the complainant’s establishment of trademark rights.
There are still a few open UDRP proceedings involving three letter .com domain names, and I will be sure to provide an update when I see a decision published.