When I was looking over the recent UDRP decision on UDRPSearch.com, I was not surprised to see the claim denied on a 5 domain name UDRP filing, which included AlcoholicBeverageDevelopment.com and AlcoholicBeveragePacking.com. I didn’t even take a glance at the decision because I just assumed the UDRP was filed by a company that wrongly thought it could get control of some seemingly generic domain names.
It was not until I saw this tweet from IP and domain industry attorney John Berryhill that I learned there was more to this UDRP than meets the eye. In fact, it appears to involve a family dispute:
Get out the popcorn for this one… “Respondent is the son of Complainant.” https://t.co/ykk0IRzIkQ pic.twitter.com/RiAb2pg1lh
— John Berryhill (@Berryhillj) November 11, 2019
In the respondent’s contention, it was mentioned that the complaint may go beyond the scope of the UDRP. In fact, the decision stated, “Respondent brings up a number of non-UDRP issues, mainly revolving around family legal and personal issues.” Fortunately, the decision did not detail the non-UDRP issues that were mentioned, which is probably best in a situation that involves family.
The panelist ended up ruling in favor of the respondent, not necessarily based on the merits of the dispute, but because of the other issues regarding the situation. From the decision:
“Accordingly, this Panel, based on the facts and arguments presented to it, chooses to dismiss the claim. See Everingham Bros. Bait Co. v. Contigo Visual, FA 440219 (Forum Apr. 27, 2005) (“The Panel finds that this matter is outside the scope of the Policy because it involves a business dispute between two parties. The UDRP was implemented to address abusive cybersquatting, not contractual or legitimate business disputes.”); see also Fuze Beverage, LLC v. CGEYE, Inc., FA 844252 (Forum Jan. 8, 2007) (“The Complaint before us describes what appears to be a common-form claim of breach of contract or breach of fiduciary duty. It is not the kind of controversy, grounded exclusively in abusive cyber-squatting, that the Policy was designed to address.”); see also Frazier Winery LLC v. Hernandez, FA 841081 (Forum Dec. 27, 2006) (holding that disputes arising out of a business relationship between the complainant and respondent regarding control over the domain name registration are outside the scope of the UDRP Policy).”
It’s sad to see a situation like this become public, but I think people need to realize the UDRP was not created to arbitrate more complex business disputes. Using the UDRP process for something beyond cybersquatting will likely end up being a waste of money and time.