A UDRP was recently filed at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) against the LeanIn.com domain name. I think this is going to be an interesting proceeding to track because of the complainant as well as the fact that the “lean in” term could be considered a heavily used generic term, in addition to its trademark(s). The case is WIPO Case D2019-0213.
LeanIn.com was created in June of 2002, and it appears to be registered to a registrant in Ontario, Canada. The domain name had private Whois information since 2017, but using DomainTools Whois History tool, I can see that the current registrant appears to be the same registrant as it was pre-privacy. Using DomainTools, I can also see that it had been previously registered to an entity called LeanIn Inc., and the phone number looks to be the same as the current registrant.
When I visited LeanIn.com this morning, the domain name did not resolve for me. I looked on Archive.org, and the most recent archived snapshot was from 2015. On that archived record, there was a logo for a business called Clementine. Prior to that record, a 2011 Archive.org record for LeanIn.com shows it was in use by a brand called Lean In. On the December of 2011 Archive.org record, I found a link to a Twitter profile for what appears to be that company, and it says the profile was created in July of 2010.
The complainant in this UDRP is listed as Sheryl Sandberg & Dave Goldberg Family Foundation. According to this organization’s LinkedIn profile, they operate an initiative on LeanIn.org. A Wikipedia page with information about LeanIn.org says that the organization was founded in 2013. In addition to this, Sheryl Sandberg wrote a book called Lean In, and from what I can see, I believe it was published in early 2013. It looks like there are quite a few trademarks for the “Lean In” term.
Based on what I can see, I think this is going to be a difficult UDRP for the complainant to win.
(Logo in article is from the 2011 Archive.org record).
Update: According to WIPO’s website, the complaint was denied. The decision should be published tomorrow, but is not available yet online.