Hallmark Files UDRP Against Mahogany.com

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Yesterday afternoon, I noticed a UDRP was filed against the high value, one word, Mahogany.com domain name. Because the UDRP was filed at the NAF, the complainant was not publicly known. There are hundreds of companies that have the word Mahogany as part of their branding, and in addition, there are many companies that sell mahogany, a popular high-end type of timber.

It was pointed out to me on Twitter that Rob Monster posted a copy of the notice he received regarding this UDRP since Mahogany.com is registered at Epik. Apparently, the complainant in the UDRP is Hallmark Licensing, the greeting card company:

In his tweet, Rob was advocating on behalf of his client because mahogany is (in his opinion and in my opinion) a generic term. I do not recall ever seeing a CEO of a registrar advocating on behalf of a client against a UDRP filing like this before.

While Hallmark does have a brand called Mahogany (which I learned about only after searching Hallmark mahogany today), I think Mahogany.com is a super generic domain name. In my opinion, Mahogany.com is worth well into the six figures, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it sell for seven figures either. As I mentioned before, there are many companies called Mahogany, and I do not think Hallmark would have any more right to the name as anyone else.

I don’t think Rob’s outspoken advocacy will have an impact on the case, but I don’t think it can hurt either. I, too, would not be surprised if the UDRP panel rules this is a case of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking (RDNH).

12 COMMENTS

  1. Very thankful that individuals like Rob Monster exist in our industry. Fearless and protective of both his customers and common sense. Thank you Elliot for reflecting this clearly, and highlighting the need for more registrars to be aware that you can in fact shape a better industry. Care starts at the top, and so does effective leadership.

  2. Buying cards ,paying $2 or more is a freaking waste of money.
    I preferred to receive homemade cards…just a simple one carries more emotional attachments that those preprinted fake cards.
    And where all those cards that were bought go to after just reading less than 30secs?……down the trash!!

    When I was in college working as a nite janitor (paying for college), comes Valentines day, I see so many expensive cards (at $5 or more) and fresh flowers thrown in the trash cans in the women’s bathroom.

  3. Thanks Elliot for drawing attention to this overreaching UDRP case.

    For those not aware, the same attorney actually prevailed in the case of Hallmark.tv. That was already a longshot case. You did great coverage on that decision:

    https://domaininvesting.com/hallmark-tv-udrp-decision-is-upsetting/

    Per Wikipedia, Hallmark is an ancient Scottish name that was first used by the Strathclyde-Briton people of the Scottish/English Borderlands. It is a name for someone who lived in Yorkshire.

    I can certainly see why Hallmark would want to own Hallmark.tv. They have become the modern soap opera company with feel-good, family-friendly titles. Great, I am all for it. Just buy the domain for a fair price.

    Fast forward to April 2021, Mahogany.com takes UDRP boldness to the next level. I am not sure what process exists for WIPO to sanction law firms but in this case RDNH is probably not enough.

    This case is so ludicrous that I would move for Foley to be disbarred from presenting petitions to WIPO as a disincentive to law firms that might otherwise waste the panel’s time and create expense for meritless cases.

    May justice be served.

  4. “I think Mahogany.com is a super generic domain name. In my opinion, Mohagany.com is worth well into the six figures…”

    This domain name has a typo problem, as Elliot demonstrates. May fail the radio test as well.

  5. I would hate to see another case that *should* be RDNH in spades but isn’t.

    If this doesn’t at least get soundly rejected then it will be a decision from the worst corner of The Twilight Zone, like when you see people who are supposed to be smart making those crazy celebratory posts on Facebook about getting their first and second pseudo “vaccine” gene hacking shots.

  6. Do you know whether Hallmark ever tried to buy this domain first? Did they baulk at the price, and this UDRP is the classic “Plan B” approach?

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