A UDRP was filed against Spase.com at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The domain name is registered to Mrs Jello, LLC, the company founded by the late Igal Lichtman, which is now operated by his wife, Michal Lichtman. Attorney Stevan Lieberman shared the decision with me, which went in favor of the domain registrant. The panel also found the complaint was brought in bad faith (Reverse Domain Name Hijacking – RDNH).
The factual background section in the decision pretty much tells us why this UDRP was flawed from the beginning and resulted in a finding of RDNH:
“The Complainant owns and operates a business converting photographs into 3D models. The Complainant’s business was incorporated as Spase, Inc. in February 2019, and trades under the name “Spase.” The Complainant submits he has established common law trademark rights in SPASE, citing media presence, twitter and podcast interviews, and the Internet presence of the Complainant’s website at “www.spase.io”. The Complainant commenced this proceeding following an unsuccessful effort to acquire the disputed domain name from the Respondent. “
Not only was the company founded 14 years after Mrs Jello, LLC acquired the domain name in 2005, but it also shows that this was a Plan B attempt at taking the domain name. An acquisition effort failed, so instead of buying the domain name, perhaps a less expensive UDRP would be successful. Wrong. This does not work.
The discussion about RDNH pretty clearly sums up why this was a solid win:
“In the Panel’s view, the record in this case evinces that the Complaint was brought in bad faith within the meaning of the applicable provisions of the Policy and Rules. As previously noted, the Respondent registered the disputed domain name in February 2005, and had used the disputed domain name to generate PPC revenues for some (14) years prior the Complainant’s adoption of the SPASE name. The Complainant, after unsuccessfully attempting purchase the disputed domain name from the Respondent, then filed a groundless Complaint. See, e.g., GIGS United S.L. v. SIE MANTIC, WIPO Case No. D2014-1689; Personal Communication Systems, Inc. v. CDN Properties Incorporated, WIPO Case No. D2014-0664. “
The unfortunate thing for Mrs Jello and the Lichtman family is that they had to pay a great attorney to defend their right to own this legitimately owned domain name.