LeanIn.com Subject of UDRP (Updated)

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.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the DomainInvesting.com 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. This will be almost an impossible UDRP to win, as the registration for use as LeanIn Inc. totally defeats any bad faith registration claims, thus ending it right there. The real question is be if Sheryl & Dave get a big fat RDNH.

    VM Freeman

  2. Another bogus UDRP filling. I would wait for the UDRP process to run its course then sue the complainant “Nat Cohen style”, and hit RickS. up to add them to the HALLOFSHAME.com database.

    LeanIn.com is a six figure name for sure.

  3. “LeanIn.com is a six figure name for sure.”

    How so???

    So LeanOut.com, LeanUnder.com, LeanAbove.com, and LeanOver.com are also 6 figure names? I don’t see it. I wouldn’t bid more than $69 for any of them in an auction.

    • Don- I would be happy to offer you officially $138(doubling your $69 valuation) for each short “LLLLIN.com” or “LLLIN.com” – WordIn.com type domain you own.

      I could think of a hundred reasons why I would value and price LeanIn.com at 100k+.
      One reason would be that SheIn.com sold for 95k, and I don’t even fancy that one to much… another reason is scarcity of these type of names…a third reason would be because I wouldn’t sell for less :)…etc

      “So LeanOut.com, LeanUnder.com, LeanAbove.com, and LeanOver.com are also 6 figure names?”

      Absolutely not. I do see value in LeanOver.com and would make a great hand reg, however it’s taken 🙂

  4. Wasn’t thinking in regards to LLLLIN.com, just the phrase itself. That said LeanOver.com makes more sense than LeanIn.com. Too bad they are all taken. Not saying I wouldn’t take it to have in my portfolio. 🙂

  5. Gotta love it when billionaires are trying to steal 6 figure assets from domain investors.

    Listen Sheryl you became a billionaire by working for a company that sold ouf their customers and gave a shit about data protection or privacy… Now you come up with a phony foundation and feel entitled to the .com domain?? .com is for commerce, .org is non profit, didn’t you get the memo? Guess she likes capitalism only as long as it suits her…

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