I wanted to share an interesting UDRP filing I noticed at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). AXA, a very large multinational insurance company, filed a UDRP against the exact match .org domain name, AXA.org. The case is WIPO Case D2017-2497.
Not only is this a relatively valuable three letter .org domain name, it looks like AXA.org is registered to an organization called Advocates Across America. AXA.org was originally created in August of 1997. My guess is that the current registrant was the original registrant of the domain name over twenty years ago.
At the present time, AXA.org resolves to a Network Solutions “under construction” landing page without any content. In looking at Archive.org, I can see that AXA.org had been used several years ago. On its homepage in August of 2009, the organization was appealing to “PLEASE HELP THE NATIONAL GUARD FAMILIES.” On the bottom of the homepage, there was a message about its status: “We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization formed in 1997 to help the needy.”
Although AXA.org does not match the exact branding of the domain name registrant, “X” is regularly used to signify “across” so the domain name makes sense for the organization. I am not sure if Advocates Across America is still a going concern, per GuideStar.
Because of the Archive.org records dating back to 1998, I think it will be difficult for AXA to prove that the domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith (especially the first part). If the company had an issue with this domain name in the past, I am curious why it waited 20 years to take action. Just because a domain name does not appear to be used for a website any longer, doesn’t mean a big company can just take it via UDRP. Interestingly, the registrant email address is @axa.org, so it looks like the domain name is still being used for email at the very least.
I will be following this UDRP to see what happens.
Update: The domain owner did not reply to the UDRP, but it was denied anyway. It does not appear that RDNH was considered.