Legally Co Files UDRP Against Legally.com (Updated)

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A company called Legally Co filed a UDRP against Legally.com, a one word .com domain name. The UDRP was filed at the World Intellectual Property Organization, and it is WIPO Case D2018-1958.

Legally.com is a domain name owned by GoDaddy’s NameFind portfolio company. From what I can see, this dictionary word .com domain name appears to have a (reasonable) buy it now price of $24,999. Using DomainTools’ Whois history tool, it appears that Legally.com was acquired when the company purchased a large group of domain names from Tucows’ YummyNames portfolio. Legally.com has an original registration date of July 1997, making it over 20 years old.

The complainant in the case appears to be the company operating on the Legally.CO domain name. Assuming this is the company that filed the UDRP, LinkedIn lists its founding date as 2015. There are quite a few companies that are branded “Legally” or that have the “Legally” keyword in them, so it could conceivably be another company with the same name. In fact, a DomainTools search shows thousands of domain names registered with the “legally” keyword in them.

In order to prevail in a UDRP, a complainant will need to prove the domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. Considering that GoDaddy owns thousands of excellent keyword .com domain names, I can’t imagine a panel would rule that the company registered and is using Legally.com in bad faith. If the complainant is unable to prove this, they can’t win.

This UDRP doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. I don’t see how the company will be able to prove all aspects of the UDRP. In addition, if GoDaddy were to lose a UDRP on a dictionary .com domain name like this one, it would seem to be in its best interest to fight this in court to try and overturn the decision. This could then become an expensive legal battle that could easily exceed the asking price for the domain name.

GoDaddy also has the option of filing a lawsuit preemptively. This would essentially put the UDRP on hold. Should GoDaddy opt to do this, it could cost the complainant more than $25,000 to fight GoDaddy in court (and/or take up a considerable amount of time resources).  As you may recall, this is what Nat Cohen’s Telepathy did after a UDRP was filed against SDT.com. That lawsuit ended in Telepathy securing a $50,000 settlement from the company that filed the UDRP, and Telepathy retained the domain name.

Of course, this assumes GoDaddy will fight the UDRP rather than attempt to reach a settlement before the decision is rendered. My gut says they wouldn’t try to reach a settlement because it could send a message to other companies that filing a UDRP is a better way to get a deal done rather than negotiating in good faith.

I will keep my eye on this UDRP proceeding.

Update: The domain registrant won the UDRP.

25 COMMENTS

  1. If godaady does not fight this I will be moving my 5k plus domains away from them in principle. UDRP abuse and RDNH has gotten way out of line. Its time there is a loser pay system.

  2. Thanks for sharing this case.

    I’ve become very interested in the outcome of UDRP cases and their analysis. Please keep us up to date when the decision is posted from WIPO.

  3. As word gets out as to the futility of using either a cctld or a gtld, we will see an increase in lottery ticket cases as claimants try to forcibly steal the .COM versions away from those who were smart enough to reserve them early on.

  4. @john

    How about some COMMON SENSE UDRP REFORM!

    Having a severe financial penalty for RDNH ruliings would put a damper on these frivilous UDRP’s or else there is no deterance to simply using a “”plan B” prior to every purchase. Imagine all criminal statutes with no consequences.

    Filing a FRIVILOUS UDRP should have consequences!!! Having RDNH ruling should also have worse consequnces.

    Also why no put 100% of the financial burden of paying for UDRP filings on the complainant? Including paying for 3 member panels of respondant The only people using single member panel are those with limited funds. Single member panel should ne eliminated.

    And finaly complainant should also pay all legal fees of respondant if respondent wins.

    Why should domainers constantly have to pay to defend their names,

    In the real workd there are consequences neing convicted of “ATTRMPTED Theft ATTEMPTED Robbery etc.

    Once again ICANNI is ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL!!’

    • Once again no it’s not, what you are proposing doesn’t make sense and will cause untold harms. If you want a financial penalty and you want the UDRP proceedings stayed, file a lawsuit. You can do so when notified and up to 10 days after a[n adverse] determination.

      • Okay, you guys, thanks for muddying the waters back to square one.

        As some are already familiar with blog discussions on this in recent months:

        1. It is not about “loser pays.” “Loser pays” is most definitely just as bad an idea as people have been saying it is for years now.

        2. It is about who abuses and defrauds the process, i.e. RDNH. Any penalty should only be for abusing and defrauding the UDRP process itself and being formally deemed to have done so – RDNH – not for losing a legitimate dispute.

          • I understand your frustration, but you need to work your ideas through a bit further to understand why what you are suggesting REALLY is a bad idea :).

            Listen to George K and join the ICANN working group, contribute and make a difference, it really is a once in a generation opportunity to improve UDRP.

          • You are nothing but a troll.

            Put your money where your mouth is then and give a credible reason why a penalty for abusing and defrauding the UDRP process itself is a bad thing instead of a good thing, and instead of putting phony words in my mouth about what I propose in a stupid trollish way. Put up or shut up as they say.

          • You throw insults around like confetti and expect someone to help you understand why you are wrong. You have a very rare opportunity to contribute positively through an incredible multistakeholder governance mechanism but you would rather shoot the breeze on blogs than put the effort in.

            Why should I help you or more importantly why should ICANN help you? The meetings are on Wednesdays (13.00 EDT), you should help out rather than expect others to do the heavy lifting for you.

            Wrt your loser pays RDNH: Can you define RDNH precisely? Do panellists have any flexibility in determining RDNH rulings? Would two panellists rule different ways on the same matters? If so how do you expect to successfully effect your proposed penalties?

            It’s a truism just to say there should be a penalty for abusing and defrauding any process and it’s easy to rebel rouse on such matters. You’ve shown nothing to suggest RDNH is not working well. Can you show me examples of where law firms have more than one RDNH ruling against them?

            You’re not alone in this, UDRP is incredibly well drafted and very few proposals actually improve on what is already there. WIPO & the UN have spent 18 years trying to skew UDRP to benefit International Governmental Organizations (IGOs) against domain registrants. The IGOs have even managed to get His Excellency Ban Ki-moon Secretary General of the United Nations to write a letter in support of having UDRP skewed in the favour of IGOs.

            And ICANN even paid for a professor to produce an expert report to substantiate their claims. A report which no doubt cost thousands of dollars and contains 30 pages of close typed horribly complex language from a Georgetown professor of International Law which can be refuted in one line!

            “IGOs initiating proceedings are never entitled to immunity.”

            With this level of pressure there are those in the ICANN multistakeholder community that struggle to do what they know is intuitively the right thing to do, perhaps also because their intuitions have never been articulated too well.

            This is important join ICANN, help make a difference 🙂

          • I’m only replying for the sake of the cause and any readers who might be deceived by you…

            > “You throw insults around like confetti”

            In all the years I’ve been participating in blogs and forums, this is the first time I’ve been so succinctly blunt with someone as to call them out for being and acting “stupid,” as in culpable stupidity. Your behavior here calls for it. Read Proverbs 26:4-5 when you get a chance. And do you really think you’re that slick? Sadly, however, you probably have been slick enough to deceive some these days. Or maybe just yourself?

            > “and expect someone to help you understand why you are wrong.”

            Seriously, you are seriously playing games that way?

            > “You have a very rare opportunity to contribute positively through an incredible multistakeholder governance mechanism but you would rather shoot the breeze on blogs than put the effort in.”

            Seriously? Does anyone even need to explain what you are doing there?

            > “Why should I help you?”

            No, seriously?

            > “Wrt your loser pays RDNH: Can you define RDNH precisely?”

            Um, I know you didn’t just do that, don’t I?

            > “Do panellists have any flexibility in determining RDNH rulings? Would two panellists rule different ways on the same matters?”

            Do red herrings exist if no one is around to hear them fall in the woods?

            > “If so how do you expect to successfully effect your proposed penalties?”

            You think I haven’t thought of that question too? The answer is you figure something out, but it’s a completely separate topic vs. merely establishing a penalty to begin with or not. (Hello?)

            > “It’s a truism just to say there should be a penalty for abusing and defrauding any process and it’s easy to rebel rouse on such matters.”

            LOL. Well now we’re getting somewhere. Especially since in the past the issue has so often been framed as “loser pays” instead. Let’s see, so Merriam-Webster defines “truism” as “an undoubted or self-evident truth; especially : one too obvious for mention.”

            Okay then, so you agree with me. Great, glad we resolved this.

            > “You’ve shown nothing to suggest RDNH is not working well.”

            Seriously, this time I really know you didn’t just do that, don’t I? Is it even humanly possible for anyone who might not have agreed with penalty for RDNH and might have been taken in by your various garden variety disingenuous tactics here to still be with you after that? Unreal. You really are just punking and trolling, right, like this is maybe just a fun diversion for you and you’re not serious about anything you’ve said here? However, if you’d like to see how “RDNH is not working well” just view every post on the subject in all the blogs alone going back years. You’ll learn a lot about how RDNH just isn’t working out for people.

            > “Can you show me examples of where law firms have more than one RDNH ruling against them?”

            Do red herrings go good with bagels? What if you prefer to be gluten free?

            > “You’re not alone in this, UDRP is incredibly well drafted […]”

            Yes, hardly alone at all in calling for RDNH penalty, except among those who either insist on framing the issue as “loser pays” or have been conditioned to view it that way and need a nudge to turn from that…

            > “With this level of pressure there are those in the ICANN multistakeholder community that struggle to do what they know is intuitively the right thing to do, perhaps also because their intuitions have never been articulated too well. […]”

            I don’t know, sure seems like you should be agreeing with me really…

            Now kudos to me for not using the usual troll tactic of charging you with doing the “word salad” thing. It’s hard for someone as long-winded as me to do that, but I must admit this time it was tempting and I probably should have because it was probably warranted for real here.

            However, with the dust settled on your lengthy diversion and effort to “turn the table” above, you said this originally:

            “You just want some losers to pay 🙂 = Same difference bad outcome”

            And I’m still waiting for this as a result:

            “Put your money where your mouth is then and give a credible reason why a penalty for abusing and defrauding the UDRP process itself is a bad thing instead of a good thing, and instead of putting phony words in my mouth about what I propose in a stupid trollish way. Put up or shut up as they say.”

            And no – if you are not just a punking disingenuous troll, then do try to believe in your heart of hearts that it’s not because I “expect someone to help [me] understand why you are wrong” as you put it.

          • OK detail doesn’t stop the ad hominem, let’s try succinct

            RDNH is subjective
            A panellist can not be forced to award an RDNH ruling
            You have not shown RDNH is not working*

            *For the avoidance of doubt:
            The fact that here are lots of rulings shows it IS working. If some law firms are getting more than one ruling then there maybe a problem but so far you have not shown that to be the case.

          • You can pretend to have the moral high ground and be the logical and reasonable one all you want. I’ll tell you when “ad hominem” is taking place and this is not when. Your behavior is plain as day.

            > “RDNH is subjective”

            Irrelevant, everyone knows that. You *honestly* do not know that everyone knows that? I doubt you will find anyone who will honestly say they believe a finding of RDNH was unjust, since it sure seems plain as day when it happens no matter how subjective it is, but you will have a very hard time not finding many who will say there should have been many more findings of RDNH based on the facts as well. You are not demanding perfection, are you? And if someone doesn’t like a finding of RDNH there could perhaps be an appeal available, which I’ve also thought of, but that’s nothing but a related tangent to begin with.

            > “A panellist can not be forced to award an RDNH ruling”

            Really? I guess noboday knew that either. Does it get any more inexplicable and from left field than a statement like that? Not another attempt to put words in my mouth, ay? But “and your point is?” will suffice since one is hard pressed to imagine what it could be. Other than putting inexplicable words in someone else’s mouth, that is.

            > “You have not shown RDNH is not working*”

            You have not shown that you are not just trolling and punking here. Maybe you’re a newcomer to the blogs and have not seen that the whole reason for any discussion of this at all is because of the years of people’s posts and comments about how RDNH is not working for domain registrants, is that it?

            > “*For the avoidance of doubt:
            The fact that here are lots of rulings shows it IS working.”

            Fallacy of ambiguity for the word “working”? Thanks but no thanks.

            > “If some law firms are getting more than one ruling then there maybe a problem but so far you have not shown that to be the case.”

            Relevance? In case you didn’t get the memo, it’s about disincentivizing abusing and defrauding the process with RDNH so that registrants don’t have to deal with it as much or hopefully at all to begin with, because the status quo is not “working.”

            But you’ve already contradicted yourself by stating it’s a “truism just to say there should be a penalty for abusing and defrauding any process,” so really you agree with me after all.

            You’re not just perhaps an attorney who doesn’t want to discourage RDNH at all because it means more business for you, by the way, is that it? Otherwise you’re just not making any sense here and writing as if you don’t even have a clue what has been going on all these years. 😉

            And last but not least, lest anyone forget, you are the one who said “Same difference bad outcome” for what I and others recommend about penalizing RDNH but you have not lifted a finger to demonstrate why. No surprise, however.

            Next, try again…

          • Let’s try and narrow this down

            RDNH is subjective.
            Everyone knows that”
            Good we agree

            A panellist can not be forced to award an RDNH ruling
            “I guess noboday knew that either”
            Good we agree

            RDNH is an outcome that can occur as result of different or a different combination of bad behaviours. What we need to do is build a better system so as many of those behaviours can not take place rather than try to punish them (sometimes) when they do occur.

            As the awarding of RDNH is optional the panellists will simply not award RDNH in most cases if they personally feel the penalty you wish to see is not justified. In the rare cases where they would likely award costs the impact will be minimal to most complainants as they are in the main very well funded especially when compared to domain registrants.

            The stigma associated with RDNH is far worse than a few fees. See what Rick did with Queen.com this is a nightmare for Frands Jepsen of Knud Jepsen of Queen.dk and it’s not likely to go away anytime soon. Can you imagine the impact that has on him waking up every day knowing his friends, clients and would be future clients are all going to see that every time they search for him on the Internet? Try searching for Frands Jepsen in Google it’s a nightmare given the choice I don’t doubt for one minute he would pay a RDNH penalty many times over if given the chance to make that nightmare go away.

            The same applies to most law firms they can’t risk the reputation damage of multiple RDNH rulings. RDNH shows serious failings on the part of the lawyer submitting the claim. Can you imagine the damage that does to their business? Especially if someone does what Rick has done to Frands Jepsen? For what? The damage far outweighs the fee they get for submitting a lousy complaint for a couple of clients.

            If law firms didn’t care about being found to be incapable of filing an honest complaint there would be firms with multiple RDNH finding against them and that would be a very serious matter because it would make it easy to allege they were either incompetent or dishonest and for a law firm that is very serious.

            So I say RDNH is working, (perhaps not in the way you envisaged it but in a far more effective way 🙂

          • When you do the thing where you quote and give a sarcastic reply it doesn’t work and has a noticeably dishonest misrepresenting quality about it. But I’m not surprised. 😉

            I don’t have time to address the other flaws in your “comment” there. To summarize, however:

            1. There is no perfect solution, but a financial penalty for RDNH would serve as a good added deterrent to filing abusive and fraudulent RDNH attempts, no matter how rich a company is. Even rich companies still tend to have compartmentalized budgets people can be sensitive about. And no matter how rich they are, the richer they are the louder they often cry “poverty” and cry over every cent. Any stigma of RDNH itself is well supplemented by that of such a penalty as well. Moreover, such a penalty can help the victims recoup the costs of having to defend against such obviously frequent actions. This is a no-brainer.

            2. More than the above, such a penalty would likely also tend to discourage filing complaints which more or less everyone could agree should have been deemed to be RDNH but weren’t, an added benefit. The net result is that not only are registrants more likely to be able to recoup some of the costs of such improper actions, but they would also become less likely to have to endure them at all to begin with, the main goal.

            Following the money:

            Who is likely to resist a penalty for RDNH?

            1. The UDRP processors: if RDNH penalties discourage people from making complaints that are RDNH in nature whether formally determined to be so or not, they make less money.

            2. ICANN? I’m sure someone knows the answer to that, and I simply don’t know if ICANN makes any money from those organizations which handle UDRP matters.

            3. Domain industry attorneys – our friends and the ones supposedly on our side. If there is a substantial decrease in frivolous and fraudulent UDRP proceedings as a result of RDNH penalties and the opportunity to soberly consider that risk before filing, then the attornies get less business and make less money from people hiring their services to defend against such bad improper complaints.

            And since I’m more focused on attending to a late dinner plate now, perhaps there is also one or more “follow the money” entities one could suggest may be resistant to such a penalty for what are ultimately financial reasons I haven’t even thought of. Now off to the victuals…

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