A UDRP was filed at WIPO against the RockNCrystals.com domain name, which is owned by HugeDomains (a company operated by Turn Commerce). The respondent was self-represented, and it won the UDRP with a finding of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking (RDNH). In looking at the domain name alone, I would not have expected a RDNH finding, but in reviewing the decision, I can see why the panelist ruled in this manner.
The sequence of events that led to the UDRP filing is what caused the UDRP to fail and the panelist to rule in favor of Huge Domains. An aspect of the decision is another example of a panelist acknowledging the legitimacy of selling domain names as a business (although it is arguably not a strong endorsement):
“Having failed to purchase the disputed domain name from the Respondent on June 19, 2019, it is apparent that Complainant attempted to use the Policy to accomplish its goal, through a secondary strategy and without regard to the clear foundational requirements of a complaint and the potential issues raised by the Center. As a result, the Complaint was obviously deficient, in all the respects previously outlined in this decision. Further, the Complainant completely ignores well-settled Policy precedent, most notably that buying and selling domain names is not per se illegitimate and that common law rights may be established in a Policy proceeding only with competent proof. The Panel views the Complainant’s basic theory as nothing more than that it has a greater right to the disputed domain name than the Respondent. There is no basis for this principle in the Policy.”
One argument made by HugeDomains that I found to be quite compelling is the listing of similar domain names owned by the company as a means of showing it did not target the complainant by registering the domain name subject of the UDRP. HugeDomains listed quite a few “RockN” domain names it owns to show the phrase is more common than it might appear on its face:
“The Respondent owns more than 100 domain names, which are listed for public sale with the term “RockN”, including the following:
< rocknstones.com >; < rocknart.com >; < rocknbeads.com >; < rocknbeer.com>; < rocknberry.com >; < rocknbike.com >; < rocknbrand.com >; < rocknbull.com >; < rockncharity.com >; < rockndrone.com >; < rockndock.com >; < rocknfilm.com >; rocknfire.com >; < rocknflow.com >; < rocknfly.com >; < rocknfool.com >; and < rocknjock.com >.”
This is a well-thought out decision by the three member panel, which includes Christopher J. Pibus, Philip N. Argy, and Richard G. Lyon.