Created in 1992, ETC.com is Subject of UDRP (Updated)

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A UDRP has been filed at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) against the high value ETC.com domain name. Created in 1992, ETC.com has been registered for nearly 30 years. The UDRP case is WIPO Case D2021-1467.

On the homepage of ETC.com, there’s a note that states “Welcome to the Etcetera Technology Corporation home page! Pardon our dust – still under construction.” An about us page linked to on the homepage has more information about the company that owns ETC.com:

“Etcetera Technology Corporation was formed in 1992 by Randy Smith and Joe Habermann to develop security software for corporate and campus internets. Since that time we’ve expanded our focus to include other aspects of networking and security.

ETC is a closely held company that is currently located in Naperville, Illinois.”

Not only is “etc” the standard and well-known abbreviation for etcetera, but it is also the initials for the company, Etcetera Technology Corporation. Beyond this, ETC.com is also a high value domain name considering it’s potential usage and the limited supply of 3 letter .com domain names.

Historical Whois records show that the ETC.com domain name has been registered to the same entity for many years. The earliest record in Archive.org is from 1996, and it shows a very similar looking website with the same logo.

The complainant in this UDRP is listed as “CACHA.” I searched Google for CACHA and ETC to see if I could learn more about why this entity believes it has the right to go after the ETC.com domain name using the UDRP, but I didn’t find anything helpful. I also did a inurl:etc cacha search to see if I could find any websites that have “etc” in the domain name and also mentioned cacha, but that didn’t yield any results either. Even with this cursory research, I do not have background information about the complainant.

In order to win the UDRP, the complainant will need to prove that the domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. Considering how long this domain name has been registered and how it is being used, I don’t see how the complainant can prove this and win (unless there is some sort of internal dispute or issue I can’t see on the face of it). Based on what I can see, I would be surprised if this UDRP does not end up with a Reverse Domain Name Hijacking (RDNH) ruling.

Update:

According to a tweet from John Berryhill and verified on the WIPO website, this UDRP has been terminated:

8 COMMENTS

  1. Another BS case wasting time and resources on what should be case law.. If they could lose $5-50k in damages from a RDNH, they would not likely file this case and waste owner money spent on more attorneys and time spent.. ICANN needs to fix the risk/reward of the system soon, otherwise you will see a flood of filings just to mess with asset owners time and resources. RDNH is a joke…. It’s not even on ICANN radar to address this abuse issue so why not try and steal a great domain with WIPO, might get lucky and only cost you a couple grand…

    • The UDRP was filed by a French attorney, who appears to be the sister of the principal of the Complainant. It was interesting that the Complainant did not use the same counsel as in their French and international trademark applications.

      US counsel for that TM application is likely unaware of any of this.

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