Legal News

RDNH Finding on CheapStuff.com UDRP

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In late May, a UDRP was filed at WIPO against the seemingly generic CheapStuff.com domain name. The filing was made after the domain name apparently expired and was auctioned on NameJet, where it achieved a sale price of $3,875. The UDRP decision was sent out today, and the respondent won. In addition, a finding of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking (RDNH) was made. Attorney John Berryhill represented the domain registrant in this proceeding, and the WIPO panelist was John Swinson.

In looking over the decision, I can see the complainant cited the recent Booking.com trademark Supreme Court decision in a supplemental filing. As John mentioned on Twitter, this will likely be a regular occurrence domain registrants will need become accustomed to seeing in UDRP defenses going forward:

Airy.com UDRP: RDNH + Panel Notes Time & Funds Involved in Defense

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In May of this year, I wrote about the filing of a UDRP against the valuable Airy.com domain name. When I saw the filing, I did some cursory research, and I did not see anything that stood out to give the complainant a chance to win the UDRP. The decision was published today, and the panelist ruled the domain registrant could retain the domain name. The panelist also ruled this is a case of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking (RDNH).

You can read the entire decision to see all of the reasons for why the complainant lost, but I want to highlight two aspects of the decision that stood out to me. The first is that Airy.com was reportedly acquired for $150,000 in 2017. This was supported by a wire transfer receipt to Uniregistar. This sale will now be archived by DNJournal, and it will tie for the 38th largest public domain name sale of 2017. I also added it to the Embrace.com one word .com sale list.

I also want to highlight a paragraph from the the RDNH discussion in the decision. The panel acknowledged the effort and cost to defend this domain name:

Nobody Will Request an “Appraisal Certificate”

Domain industry attorney Jason Schaeffer reported today that three of his clients received $60,000 offers to buy domain names, and the supposed prospective buyer requested an “appraisal certificate” in order to proceed with a deal.

Differing Opinions on Ramifications of SCOTUS Decision

Earlier this week, the United States Supreme Court ruled that Booking.com can be trademarked. The 8-1 decision was a good read, and there was some interesting insight from the opinion. The dissent, written by Justice Stephen Breyer, included some positive language that will likely be referenced by generic .com domain name registrants:

IEE.com Subject of UDRP (Updated)

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A UDRP was filed against the valuable 3 letter IEE.com domain name. The UDRP was filed at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). It is WIPO Case D2020-1707.

IEE.com was created in September of 1995, making the domain name nearly 25 years old. The domain name is being used as a website for a business called Equipment Engineering Services P.A. The current Whois record shows the domain name is registered to an entity called Imaging and Equipment Engineering, which explains the IEE abbreviation.

UDRP Resources from the ICA

On occasion, I receive emails from domain registrants who have either received a UDRP notice from WIPO or NAF or have been threatened with a UDRP filing. I know a fair amount of information about the UDRP, but I do not have the legal expertise necessary to offer actionable advice about responding to a UDRP or a legal threat.

When I am asked for advice, I typically suggest that the person reach out to a domain name attorney who can offer professional advice on the threat or legal filing. There are a handful of attorneys who I have sought out advice from over the years, including John Berryhill, Jason Schaeffer, Zak Muscovitch, Stevan Lieberman, and Brett Lewis (apologies to anyone I have forgotten), depending on the circumstances.

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