Prudential Files UDRP Against PRU.com

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A UDRP has been filed against the valuable 3 letter PRU.com domain name. The UDRP was filed at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and it is case #D2020-0714. The UDRP was filed by The Prudential Insurance Company of America.

PRU.com was registered over 22 years ago in 1997. The domain name is currently registered under privacy proxy at GoDaddy, so the registrant is not publicly known at this time. When I visited PRU.com this morning, I saw that the domain name resolves to a default GoDaddy landing page. The domain name appears to have been for sale via Sedo at some point in the last several years. I do not see any public sales history for this domain name on NameBio.

I assume the complainant is related to Prudential Financial Inc., which uses PRU as its NYSE ticker symbol. The Prudential Center in Boston is often referred to as the Pru. When I first saw that PRU.com was subject of a UDRP, I assumed it was one of the Prudential brands that filed the complaint. Prudential uses its brand match Prudential.com domain name for its primary corporate website.

Even though various Prudential-related businesses and associated entities are commonly referred to as Pru, I do not believe this is going to be a slam dunk case for the complainant. As documented on Embrace.com, Three letter .com domain names have considerable investment value. In addition, even though Prudential-related search results dominate the top of Google for a search of “pru,” there are quite a few companies that have Pru / PRU in their branding. For instance, there is a large financial services company called Pru Life UK and a different consulting company called Pru & Partners.

In order to win, Prudential will need to prove that PRU.com was registered and is being used in bad faith. Based on its current usage and the fact that it is a LLL.com domain name with value beyond any Prudential branding, I think it will be difficult for Prudential to prove that it is being used in bad faith (unless I am missing something).

Based on my own observations backed up by data from UDRP.Tools, it appears that recent UDRP panels have been understanding that three letter .com domain names hold substantial investment value. Panelists seem more reluctant to award these valuable domain name assets to complainants unless there is serious evidence of bad faith registration and usage. This UDRP will be interesting.

11 COMMENTS

  1. This company The Prudential Insurance Company of America is always trying to steal domain names from rightful owners. I hope they get a reverse domain name hijacking decision in return and sued for damages.

  2. What a dog move, and to think that a big company has no qualms about putting small domain investors under stress & anxiety. Good worker ‘Observer’ with finding that older filing. Here’s an idea, why not try and purchase the name.

  3. I think I was being too kind above… What a BS company to try it again. Can you imagine if they jump so many hoops with the domain name, how slimy they would be to deal with as their customer. sheesh

  4. Elliot, I wouldn’t say it’ll be interesting. It will of course just get dismissed, and very likely a no RDNH finding. Predictable I’d say.

  5. There is NO Secondary Meaning that has developed for PRU for a Trademark rights like an ATT. This is not a move to protect an identify of the source or origin of products or services that can confuse consumers. This is a move to steal a domain name and UDRP needs to be using reverse domain name hijacking to protect domain name owners and there should be a harsh penalty for RDNH.

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