A UDRP was filed against the CheapStuff.com domain name at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The UDRP is WIPO Case D2020-1354, and it appears to have been filed within the past couple of days.
To me, CheapStuff.com seems like a pretty generic domain name that could be used to sell “cheap stuff.” Likely because of the potential usage for this descriptive domain name, CheapStuff.com sold for $3,875 at NameJet in March of this year, according to NameBio. Based on the “email@example.com” email address in the historical Whois record at DomainTools from February 26th, it appears to have been an expiry auction. In fact, CheapStuff.com was promoted by NameJet in its newsletter, even earning the honor of being one of two domain names listed in the email subject:
— NameJet (@namejet) February 25, 2020
From what I can see using current Whois records at DomainTools, it looks like the registrant is based in India. When I visited CheapStuff.com, I saw an error page that says, “Error. Page cannot be displayed. Please contact your service provider for more details. (28)”
The complainant in the UDRP is listed as Cheapstuff, Inc. A Google search for “Cheapstuff, Inc.” showed me a Twitter profile matching the name, although the camel case is different on the WIPO case page and the name of the Twitter account. That aside, the Twitter profile was created in 2009, and it has a link to CheapStuff.com. For what it is worth, that Twitter account does not appear to have tweeted since 2013.
If I was to make a guess, it is possible that the complainant in the UDRP is the former registrant of CheapStuff.com. Perhaps the domain name expired, and the complainant is trying to get the domain name back via UDRP. I am not sure if this will be successful since CheapStuff.com is so generic it seems like it would be difficult to prove the registrant bought the domain name in bad faith and the fact that it is not being used yet seems like hardly enough evidence to show it is being used in bad faith. The complainant will need to prove both to win a UDRP.
We recently saw a UDRP win for the town of Secaucus, New Jersey when it filed a UDRP after letting SecaucusNJ.org expire. In both of these cases, the domain names were auctioned. I believe this CheapStuff.com case is different though, because in the SecaucusNJ.org case, because “the disputed domain name resolved to a website which displayed outdated information and content from the Complainant’s website.” From what I can see right now, the registrant of CheapStuff.com does not appear to be using the domain name in an infringing manner (unless I missed something).
I will keep an eye on this UDRP because it involves a valuable domain name that was acquired at auction, and that is similar to many domain names won by domain investors in expiry auctions that close every day.