Legal News

Panels Should Consider RDNH Even if Not Requested

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A National Arbitration Forum panel presided over a UDRP that was filed against the CyberGuard.com domain name. CyberGuard.com is owned by McAfee, the global computer security company. For whatever reason, the CyberGuard.com domain name does not resolve to a functioning website.

Not surprisingly, the sole UDRP panelist, Terry F. Peppard, ruled in favor of McAfee even though the company did not respond to the UDRP. While the decision was on point, I think the panelist should have taken it upon himself to rule that the filing was a case of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking (RDNH). It does not appear that RDNH was even considered by the panelist.

HugeDomains Gets RDNH Finding in Bookker.com UDRP

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When a company has a huge portfolio of domain names like HugeDomains, it is bound to see its fair share of UDRP filings. A pair of Spanish companies called Bookker Corporate S.L.U and The Graffter SL filed a UDRP against Bookker.com, a domain name owned by HugeDomains. The UDRP was filed at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

HugeDomains, which was represented by attorney Jason Schaeffer of Esqwire.com, prevailed in the UDRP. The panel also ruled that this was Reverse Domain Name Hijacking (RDNH). This UDRP decision is worth highlighting because of the pro-domain investor language from the three member panel (Assen Alexiev, Alejandro Touriño, and Jeffrey Neuman).

John Berryhill Shares Thoughts About Skill.com UDRP

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A UDRP was recently filed against the high value Skill.com domain name at the World Intellectual Property Organization. Skill.com is a fully developed business, and the complainant in the UDRP is a company called Skillful Communications, Inc. You don’t often see such a valuable domain name become the target of a UDRP proceeding.

John Berryhill is a highly respected Intellectual Property attorney who has made a name for himself in the domain name industry. John has successfully defended many valuable domain names over the years, and he is one of the most knowledgeable attorneys when it comes to domain name law.

Congratulations to the IOC on This Massive UDRP Win

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is a somewhat frequent UDRP filer. The organization, which manages the Olympic Games, has filed dozens of UDRP proceedings, according to UDRPSearch.com. I took a quick look at the domain names that were subject of these UDRP filings, and none of them are as huge as the one that was just won.

The IOC filed a UDRP at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) for the olympic-ioco-wso-wsmaf-wmaf-imac-wimaf-wmmaf-gmmaf-wfff.org domain name. The decision was just published, and not surprisingly, the IOC prevailed in the dispute and will become the new registrant of this 55 character .org domain name.

AOGA.com UDRP is a Toughie

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Alaska Oil and Gas Association filed a UDRP against the AOGA.com domain name, and the organization prevailed. In reading the decision, I can see both sides of the case and think it’s a tough situation. I think it was probably the right call, but I think the rationale for the decision was bad.

Alaska Oil and Gas Association previously owned AOGA.com. According to the decision, the complainant reportedly had the domain name stolen from its account at Network Solutions:

“Complainant lost control of the Domain Name via a fraudulent unauthorized transfer in 2020. In the context of Complainant’s investigation, Complainant contacted the registrar where the Domain Name had been registered, Network Solutions and the Registrar, where the account had been transferred. Complainant was informed by Network Solutions that third parties had contacted that registrar and ordered a transfer, which per Complainant was not authorised. Complainant further learned that its account with Network Solutions had been accessed several times by different people in different parts of the world. Unknown to Complainant and without authorization, one or more persons infiltrated Complainant’s domain management account and transferred the Disputed Domain to another.”

Making matters worse, the domain name was apparently sold to someone else on NameJet. According to NameBio, AOGA.com was sold $1,193 on NameJet in December of 2020. I did not participate in the auction, but I looked at historical Whois records on DomainTools and it does not appear that this domain name was ever in expired status.

It seems plausible that the domain name was, in fact, stolen from the complainant and the domain name was acquired by the registrant at an auction for $1,193. Beyond contacting the AOGA to ask about the domain name, it would have been difficult to know the domain name was stolen, particularly if the buyer did not have access to a paid account at DomainTools or DomainIQ.

Yes, the complainant most likely had the domain name stolen from its account but the current registrant bought a 4 letter acronym domain name at auction without knowing it was stolen.

This makes things a bit murky, particularly because it’s a fairly generic domain name and the complainant organization is Alaska Oil and Gas Association and not a company called Aoga.

One big issue I have with the decision is where the panelist highlights the discrepancy between the purchase price and the registrant’s asking price as if it should matter:

RDNH Finding in IndoorBillboard.com UDRP

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A UDRP was filed against the domain investor-owned IndoorBillboard.com domain name at the National Arbitration Forum (NAF). The decision was published today, and the domain registrant prevailed and will retain this generic domain name. The three member panel discussed Reverse Domain Name Hijacking (RDNH), and it ruled this was an abusive filing. The domain registrant was represented by Jason Schaeffer of ESQWire.com.

The complainant in this filing is a company called Indoor Billboard/Northwest, Inc. It argued that it has a trademark for the “indoor billboard” term and that it “received notoriety” for the term. The panel felt that the complainant did not offer up any evidence to that effect:

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