Legal News

Merlin Kauffman Files Suit Over 420.com

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Politico published an extensive article about High Times, a long-established publication covering the marijuana industry, culture, and lifestyle. In the article, it was revealed that a lawsuit has been filed by Merlin Kauffman related to the 420.com domain name. Here’s an excerpt from the article that discussed the lawsuit:

Search and Track UDRP Cases and Decisions

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As a domain investor, I think it is important to be aware of UDRP filings and decisions. While the vast majority of UDRP filings involve domain names that are infringing on popular brands and trademarks, there have been a number of UDRPs involving valuable, investment-grade domain names.

There are several helpful websites that I use to track UDRP cases and decisions. The websites I use and reference the most regularly are:

GoDaddy Landing Page Induces UDRP

Unfortunately, it looks like my prediction about the new GoDaddy pay per click-focused landing page design was prescient. Just yesterday, I wroteIn fact, some registrants may believe this is discourteous if GoDaddy were to monetize their landing page with trademark infringing links that induce a UDRP (or worse).” It looks like this was the exact issue in the ArtPetrossian.com UDRP.

Before diving into the UDRP and its decision, have a look at the landing page on ArtPetrossian.com:

RDNH Finding in DSPA.com UDRP

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A UDRP was filed against the 4 letter DSPA.com domain name at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and the decision was published today. The case was decided in favor of the domain registrant, a domain investor who owns a valuable portfolio of domain names. The 3 member WIPO panel ruled this was a case of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking (RDNH). Attorney John Berryhill represented the domain registrant in the proceeding.

The complainant in the dispute was a company called DSPA B.V., which uses the DSPA.nl ccTLD domain name for its business. According to the decision, the complainant had owned the domain name several years ago, and the registrant acquired it in an expiry auction. Coincidentally, I was one of the four underbidders in this 2017 auction on NameJet.

In this decision, the panel once again acknowledged that domain investors have a legitimate right to register short acronym domain names as investments:

Webinar: How to Win a UDRP Dispute

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The Canadian International Internet Dispute Resolution Centre (CIIDRC) is hosting a webinar that might be of interest to domain investors. How to Win a UDRP Dispute is a free webinar featuring the Hon Neil Brown QC, Barry Penner QC, and John Rogers, C. Arb. as its keynote speakers. The webinar was announced on the CIIDRC Twitter account:

DownPat.com Sold by NameFind in November, Expired in March

Andrew Allemann wrote about the DownPat.com UDRP, which was decided in favor of the domain registrant who acquired the domain name via GoDaddy Auctions for $861. Although the domain registrant won the UDRP in a decision I agree with, I think what happened to the complainant really stinks.

In looking at the Whois History at DomainTools, I see DownPat.com was previously registered to NameFind, the domain name portfolio company owned and operated by GoDaddy. The domain name appears to have been acquired by GoDaddy when it acquired Michael Berkens’ portfolio several years ago.

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