Earlier today, WIPO published the Glory.com UDRP decision. The complaint was denied and the domain owner (Microstrategy) will get to keep the Glory.com domain name. This is great because Glory.com is a high value domain name (they paid $115,000 in 2003 and it is worth substantially more today) that is generic in nature.
From my vantage point, the decision should have been pretty much a no brainer. Glory.com is a meaningful one word .com domain name that could be used by any number of companies called Glory. There are literally companies throughout the world known as Glory, and many of these would likely have a similar claim to the name as the complainant tried to prove. That being said, there was something a bit concerning in the UDRP decision that I look at as cautionary:
“This Panel’s finding is also supported by the fact that Respondent undisputedly never attempted itself to contact Complainant with the offer to sell the disputed domain name, but that Respondent quietly held the disputed domain name for 13 years. “
My interpretation is that had the domain owner tried to sell the domain name at some point, the UDRP could potentially have been decided in favor of the complainant.. This is scary because domain owners and domain brokers who represent domain names reach out to prospective buyers to sell their domain names. If a domain broker represents the owner of “Example.com” and reaches out to Example, Inc. (a hypothetical example), this could theoretically put the domain name at risk.
There is a bit of irony here. If Example, Inc. would love to own Example.com but the owner of Example.com is afraid to approach the company because of the line of thinking in this decision, they may never know the domain name is available for sale. Many companies just assume a domain name is not for sale and don’t inquire over the years, so opportunities could be lost as a result of this.
I don’t believe this is the first time a UDRP panel has mentioned this line of reasoning in rendering their decision. It reinforces the fact that domain owners who are willing to sell their domain names need to proceed with caution when approaching prospective buyers – especially companies whose branding is exactly the keyword in the domain name for sale.