It appears that NBA basketball star James Harden has filed a UDRP for the JamesHarden.com domain name. The complainant in the UDRP proceeding is listed as “James Harden,” so I am not certain that the UDRP was filed by the Houston Rockets player, but I would assume that he is the complainant. This case was filed at the World Intellectual Property Organization, and it is WIPO Case D2016-0519.
JamesHarden.com is registered to a registrant that has a Texas address. The domain name has a creation date of April 4, 2013. A Whois History search using DomainTools shows that the domain name had been previously registered as far back as 2006. Most interestingly (to me anyway), the domain name had been registered to the National Basketball Players Association back in 2010, according to the DomainTools Whois history tool. In April of 2013, DomainTools shows the domain name went into pending delete status.
If the UDRP was filed by James Harden the basketball player, it may prove to be a difficult UDRP for the domain owner to defend. At the present time, the domain name is parked at Sedo and there are basketball related links on the landing page. In fact, some of the links on JamesHarden.com actually say “James Harden.” I presume that clicking on them would yield additional basketball related links, although I did not click on any of them to test. There is also a link that says “The domain jamesharden.com may be for sale by its owner!” and clicking it takes the visitor to a Sedo offer page.
If it is the NBA basketball player who filed the UDRP, it would be interesting to learn why the domain name was let go by the NBA Players Association. It’s very possible it was some sort of slip up that allowed the domain name to expire. With Mr. Harden’s salary and large Adidas endorsement deal, I am sure the UDRP fee (if it was his filing) is no big deal.
Celebrity UDRP cases are not always cut and dry, so it will be interesting to see if he prevails. One recent UDRP case that went in favor of the complainant was the UDRP for KhloeKardashian.com, which was won by Khloe Kardashian. That domain name is now forwarding to Ms. Kardashian’s website.