The one word Dribble.com domain name is the subject of a UDRP that has been filed at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The UDRP is WIPO Case D2018-0419.
Dribble.com was registered over 20 years ago in 1997, and the domain name is registered to a company in Minnesota. Using DomainTools Historical Whois tool, I was able to see the Whois record as far back as 2002, and it looks like the same entity owned the domain name back then. When I visited Dribble.com this morning, I saw a default landing page with PPC advertising that appears to be generated by the hosting company (Host Monster) and not managed or controlled by the domain name owner.
The UDRP was filed by a company called Dribbble Holdings Ltd. You will notice the company has 3 b’s in its name rather than the correct spelling of “dribble.” The company’s website can be found on the exact match Dribbble.com domain name. When I visited the Dribbble.com website, I saw that the company was reportedly “Founded in 2009.” It is unclear to me why the thinks it should be able to get a domain name that has been owned by another entity for much longer than it existed. The domain name would actually be considered a typo of its own branding. I presume the company has an issue with the auto-generated PPC advertisements on the landing page.
From what I can see (and from my non-legal vantage point), this could be a slam dunk (pun intended) for the domain owner. Since the complainant’s website states that it was “founded in 2009” and the domain name has been owned by the same registrant for many years prior to that, I don’t see how they could prove that the domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith (the AND part is very critical there). With the retroactive bad faith argument no longer accepted (thanks to the ICA), I don’t see how the complainant would be able to prove all of the elements of the UDRP, which is a necessity to winning.
Update: As I expected, the panel ruled in favor of the domain owner (self-represented).
DOA and rightfully so!
Parked pages with PPC links to a complainant’s competitor is an absolute colossal mistake, although we keep seeing it repeated over and over. It’s now an uphill battle for the registrant.
On the other hand, the complainant needs to prove it was registered in bad faith, and since it was originally registered before the compainant was founded, that should be impossible.
This may not be the appropriate venue given the circumstances.
Does this mean every mis-spelling of a name is now going to try their luck? Names with extra letters have been a trend for a little while now, perhaps this has always been their master plan?
Lets see if it will work.
I will register eexxon,com.
I will put a website on it.
Then, next year, I will go after the domain exxon,com thru udrp.
I wonder if I could win?
There are many companies in the US that do not have the domain name (.com) with the name of mercantile registry, taxes, etc.
This is the perfect example of what I have said; look alike, sound alike, read alike the list can go on and on…..
Wasnt there a case where the owner of a Domain used the courts to sue for a abuse of process and ended up settling the company that first filed the UDRP?
I mean I own Jewlry.com and jewelry.com was registered earlier, and he does have a trade mark, but can he come in and swoop the name?