Although I generally learn about UDRP cases after the decisions are made, I occasionally look through all of the WIPO UDRP cases that have been filed. The World Intellectual Property Organization, which oversees UDRP cases, lists all of the cases filed by year, and it provides a status update next to each case – from pending through decided and everything in between. This is in addition to being able to search for cases by domain name, complainant, and respondent.
One reason I monitor filings is to stay ahead to see if there are certain companies that are aggressively and/or over aggressively protecting their brands. I particularly pay attention to geodomain names, acronym domain names (2 and 3 letters and 2 and 3 numbers), and other generic domain names. Whether or not a majority of these cases are awarded to the complainant doesn’t really impact my reasoning for monitoring. I watch them to proactively protect my domain names and be mindful of certain companies when making future acquisitions, because a UDRP defense can be expensive and can only negatively impact the value of a domain name.
Below are recent UDRP filings for seemingly generic domain names:
Hostess.com – filed by Interstate Bakeries Corporation
QUE.com – filed by Plastic Logic, Inc.
ENX.com – filed by ENX (European Network Exchange) Association
WiFiParis.com – filed by Ville de Paris
MID.org – filed by The Royal National Institute for Deaf People
Reading this, and a lot of the related posts at domain name wire makes me think that big companies are going after domain names through UDRP far more than they used to, and in many or even most cases the claim is unjust. Consider wifiparis.com – currently a developed and useful website – how would any other person/organization have a claim over that domain unless there is a trademark predating the domain registration (which I haven’t checked). Although the owner of this domain name will probably not lose it, it will cost them time and probably money to defend their case, and presuming they are successful they will not be compensated as far as I know.
I’ve just looked at mid.org – developed site, possibly related to local govt. Why The Royal National Institute for Deaf People believes they have rights to that domain is beyond me.
How any company can think they have a claim to a generic name like “hostess.com” is ridiculous to me. I remember an interesting WIPO case I read a while back involving shangrila.com and Shangrila Hotels and Resorts. To make a long story short they ended up winning the domain.
Are you kidding???
One of the biggest most well know food brands on the planet.
You never heard of Hostess Twinkies???
These companies have to protect their brands to maintain the rights to their TM’s. If you don’t enforce your TM you can lose the rights to it.
Yeh some of these claims aren’t kosher, but something like Hostess surely is.
Thanks for the info on this. They have an RSS feed on decisions but not on filings – at least I can easily watch how they come about.
Do remember that Hostess is also a dictionary word. It appears that Hostess was being used as a hosting companies site up till 2007 according to archive. Hostess (bakery) could not take the domain away if the owner is still actively in the web hosting business. If they put up a blank page or it does not resolve than hostess may have a claim against them. I guess well just have to wait and see what kind of information has been obtained.
mid.org is in dispute wtf 😀
i hope Institute for Deaf People will be sued badly and kicked