I received a comment in yesterday’s post that isn’t really related to the article. I also thought it was deserving of its own post, since there will probably be no shortage of opinions about the topic. Reader LindaM submitted the following question:
“One of my more successful websites, what I would call a ‘real world’ website (ie it sells actual stuff that is posted to customers and is an outgrowth of a long established bricks n mortar) is currently growing nicely. Lets call it “ThreeLetterAbbreviation.com” .
Now then, this website is making some waves in its field and Im currently working to develop it further, it now has an employee and an investor. I was wondering – can I make a move on the 3letter, lets call it “TLA.com” ? Obviously the asking price will be unaffordable but since my company has been trading under the name for years could I fairly win a UDRP? Currently the name resolves to a search portal and ads (not ours), its whois returns a web media firm in USA that own other plum domains, some parked and some developed. Im sure they would fight tooth and claw to retain the “TLA.com” domain name.
Getting the name would give us a shot at world domination, losing a lawsuit could kill us dead.”
In my opinion, even without knowing the domain names in question, this would appear to be a clear cut case of reverse domain hijacking. Just because there’s a better domain name out there that isn’t being used to it’s fullest extent (which of course is subject to one’s opinion), it doesn’t mean that another company has the right to get it via UDRP. In fact, I think that would be a misuse of the UDRP process.
The UDRP was established primarily to protect companies when their brands and/or marks were being used by others who did not have the right to use them. Based on what LindaM wrote, this does not appear to be the case. It’s an attempt to get a domain name at a lower expense than buying it, which I believe is reverse domain name hijacking.
If a company is poised for “a shot at world domination” with this 3 letter com domain name, LindaM should pay whatever it would take to get it, since that cost would almost certainly be lower than the profits that come with world domination.
What do you think?