I did a double take this afternoon when looking at the World Intellectual Property Organization’s website. A UDRP was filed against Hug.com and Hug.net. The case is WIPO Case D2016-1620.
As far as I am concerned, Hug.com and Hug.net are about as descriptive as you can get. Both domain names appear to be owned by the same owner, a registrant based in California, according to the Whois information. If you visit the domain names, you will see the domain names have a for sale form on them. Selling descriptive domain names is a perfectly legitimate business model. Hug.com was created in 1995 and Hug.net was created in 1999.
According to DomainIQ, Hug.com has a value of $172,000 and Hug.net has a value of $15,000. In my opinion, these automated valuations seem low as I believe Hug.com would make a great brand name because of its positive connotation. I checked NameBio, and I do not see a record of any public sales for either Hug.com or Hug.net.
The complainant in this UDRP is listed as HÃ´pitaux Universitaires de GenÃ¨ve. I had never heard of this entity before, and a Google search shows that it uses hug-ge.ch for its website. I can see why this complainant would want the Hug.com and Hug.net domain names, but I do not believe they should be able to use the UDRP process as a means to acquire these valuable domain names, unless there is more to this story that I cannot see.
I will be following this UDRP as it progresses. I presume the owner of these valuable domain names will have good representation to defend these domain name assets in the UDRP proceeding. Once the UDRP decision is published, I will update this article.
Update: In an unsurprising decision, the Hug.com, Hug.net and Hug.org UDRP has been denied, according to UDRPSearch.com. The decision has not yet been published, but I would not be surprised to see a RDNH finding.
Update 2: The decision was published and the majority of the panel concluded that reverse domain name hijacking had taken place.
That’s all we seem to see anymore.
But i guess if you own these great domains you have the extra cash so you can defend it.
Seems it’s getting worse everyday.
A one word generic is more vulnerable to a UDRP than a Short Two Word .COM Profit Center. Regardless, the Advertising Agency (Sour Grapes) Foment a lot of negative sentiment along with cash incentives for these UDRPs to come about.
.COM Profit Center Assets being the Superior Online Marketing Tools that they are , are Highly sought after Strategic Assets, that are coveted by the Frank Schilling Network.
Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger) Former ( Rockefeller I.B.E.C. Marketing Analyst/Strategist) (Licensed C.B.O.E. Commodity Hedge Strategist) ( Domain Master http://WWW.UseBiz.com
A separate UDRP was also filed against Hug.org by the same complainant:
Looks like the same complainant owns all three domain names, so I am not sure why 2 different UDRPs were filed. Guess we will learn more when the decision is rendered.
Sad to hear these domains getting hit with UDRP. I know this domain owner and he is a great guy – Aydin Karadeniz, Founder & CEO of PromoCodes.com & Coupons.ca and owns some other great names like:
Credit.co.uk & Credit.uk
Plussize.com, plussizedresses.com, plussizeswimwear.com, plussizeswimsuits.com, plussizejeans.com, plussizesuits.com, plussizewomen.com, DiscountCode.com, PromotionCode.com, PromotionalCodes.com, PromotionalCode.com, Coupon.ca, PrintableCoupons.com, PrintableCoupon.com
I hope he will be able to defend HUG.com/net/org.
The Hug.org UDRP was terminated, according to UDRPSearch.com:
I did a quick search and, as far as I can see, the Complainant, HUG – Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève, owns no TM for the term “HUG” in Switzerland.
Furthermore, I don’t see any evidence of bad faith in registration (the creation of HUG – Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève occurred somewhere in 1995, as a merger of all public hospitals in Geneva, while HUG.com was registered in July 1995) or in use (never parked with ads for ex.).
IMHO zero chance of getting the domains, and I think it’s a clear case of RDNH. 🙂
I would agree unless there is something that you and I are both missing.
Plus, as you said, it’s a generic term.
I guess the Complainant was ill-advised, and their lawyers probably made some mess with the UDRP, that’s why we have two separate complaints …
I’d be curious to know who is representing them … 😀
They don’t even own hug.ch
I don’t see a chance of winning for the said facts and d by other comments 🙂
http://www.hug.ch is owned by MusikHug.
Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève’s website is http://www.hug-ge.ch
Shouldn’t their priority be spending money on patient care instead of spending time, money and resources on this UDRP case which they will probably lose.
I need to ask a UDRP for Dummies question. I have never been involved in one, but I see how easy it is for anyone to come after a name like this. What recourse does the current owner have to go after these people for Attorney fees that he/she has to layout to defend their domain(s)?
I know it sounds far fetched but to prevent filings that are BS, what if they either raise the fee to file a UDRP and/or require an additional fee that is held in an escrow account that would cover the Attorney Fees of the current owner if the UDRP was denied. This may detour people away from filing UDRP’s just because they have deep pockets.
It just seems to easy today to file.
Strongly advocate reform against such baseless udrp’s and these should never be accepted as there is no merit to the complaint.
I encourage alot more participation from domain name investing community at ICANN in order to let them hear or read your views about such policies.
Is there a UDRP process for .top domains?
Complaint was denied and panel ruled reverse domain name hijacking (RDNH): http://www.wipo.int/amc/en/domains/search/text.jsp?case=D2016-1620