UDRP Denied with RDNH

Every once in a while, I see a UDRP filing that appears to be unwinnable. More often than not, the domain name in question is a one word or three letter .com domain name that is rightfully owned by someone but coveted by another party.

A complainant called Integrity Marketing Group, LLC filed a UDRP against the one word domain name at the National Arbitration Forum (NAF). On appearance alone, I did not think the complainant stood a chance of winning the dispute for this high value dictionary word domain name.

The UDRP decision was published, and the three panelists ruled in favor of the domain registrant. In addition, the panel decided that this “Complaint was brought in bad faith and constitutes an abuse of the administrative proceeding.” This finding of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking (RDNH) was not surprising.

There were multiple reasons for why the panel ruled against the complainant. For one thing, the domain name was owned by the registrant before the complainant existed.

Here’s an excerpt from the decision:

“Even if one were to take September 8, 2020, as the date of creation of the Disputed Domain Name, this would still pre-date the creation of Complainant’s trademark rights by several years. (As stated above, despite Complainant’s assertion of common law rights in the INTEGRITY Trademark as of an earlier date, this has not been established.) This date of September 8, 2020, is mentioned because a declaration provided by Respondent herein suggests that the Disputed Domain Name may have been transferred on this date, although the precise sequence of events is not entirely clear. (Some panels have held that a transfer of a domain name can trigger a new creation date for purposes of a bad faith analysis.)

As such, it would not have been possible for the Respondent to have had the requisite intention at the time the Disputed Domain Name was created.”

The panel also discussed the fact that is a dictionary .com domain name that is not specific to one entity or another.

“Additionally, the word “integrity” is a dictionary word. Respondent’s intention is far more likely to be an effort to employ the generic and descriptive aspects of the word. The Policy cannot be used to capture the exclusive use of a generic and descriptive word with respect to domain names in all circumstances. “

You can read the full decision on the NAF website, but I think those excerpts give a pretty good idea about why the complaint failed and why the panel ruled it was RDNH.

Thanks to the ICA for bringing this to my attention this morning.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. Who cares is one gets a RDNH? Are they paying for attorney fees, is there any substance to a RDNH? No and it’s the one thing ICANN can do right to make our industry better is put some teeth behind RDNH.

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