A valuable three letter .com domain name came under fire via UDRP, but the respondent prevailed. AVK.com was subject of a UDRP at the Czech Arbitration Court (CAC) in a dispute filed by a company called AVK Holding A/S. The panel ruled this was a case of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking (RDNH), and the complainant will retain the domain name. The registrant was represented by attorney Zak Muscovitch.
This is the second time the complainant filed a UDRP against the domain name, which has been registered to the same entity, Best Web Limited, since 2003. According to UDRPSearch.com, the first case was also denied, although a RDNH finding was not made in that decision.
From my perspective, the biggest take away from this decision was the language the three-member panel used while discussing the RDNH finding:
“The UDRP was intended to serve as an efficient means of redress against cybersquatters, not a cheap alternative to commercial negotiation with legitimate domain name holders. The Panel therefore finds and declare that the Complaint was brought in bad faith and constitutes an abuse of the administrative proceeding, and accordingly that the Complainant attempted Reverse Domain Name Hijacking within the meaning of the Policy.”
The panel is not only stating that the registrant is a legitimate domain name holder, but also that the UDRP process should not be used as a means of getting the domain name less expensively than buying it from the domain registrant. Much more often than not these days, panels continue to recognize the rights of domain investors that own valuable acronym domain names. It is a positive sign that panels are getting this right, especially when they decide a case is an abuse of the UDRP.
The panelists in this UDRP were The Hon. Neil Brown, QC , Professor William Lye, OAM QC , JUDr. Petr Hostaš.