Registrant Retains Domain Name

In October, I wrote about the UDRP filed against the domain name. The UDRP was decided by a three member panel, and the domain registrant will be able to keep the domain name after the complaint was denied.

The primary reason the complaint was denied was because proving the domain name was registered in bad faith, which is necessary to prevail in a UDRP, was impossible. I mentioned that in the article I wrote about the UDRP filing, and the panel ruled in favor of the domain registrant because of that. Here’s the relevant discussion in the decision:

“Respondent contends that its renewal of the registration does not establish bad faith. When a respondent registers a domain name prior to a complainant establishing rights in a mark, Panels have overwhelmingly found that the respondent did not register a domain name in bad faith. See Telecom Italia S.p.A. v. NetGears LLC, FA 944807 (Forum May 16, 2007) (determining the respondent could not have registered or used the disputed domain name in bad faith where the respondent registered the disputed domain name before the complainant began using the mark); see also Arena Football League v. Armand F. Lange & Assocs., FA 128791 (Forum Dec. 26, 2002) (“[O]nce a Panel finds that a domain name was originally registered in good faith, any subsequent renewal [that] could qualify as having been done in bad faith is irrelevant: the relevant point of inquiry occurs at registration, not renewal of that registration.”). The Panel finds that Respondent’s registration of the domain name predates Complainant’s claimed rights in the HIMS mark by more than twenty years, and that its use of the domain name was legitimate both before and after renewal. Specifically, the Panel notes that Respondent is entitled to use the disputed domain name as he sees fit, regardless of the timing of discussions regarding Complainant’s desire to purchase the disputed domain name. “

Not surprisingly, the domain registrant asked the panel to consider a finding of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking (RDNH). It looks like the registrant asked for this because of the impossibility of registering the domain name in bad faith so many years prior to the complainant’s existence. The panel declined to rule it was RDNH because of the possibility of a (now discredited) finding that the domain name was renewed in bad faith. Here’s the discussion about RDNH:

“Respondent alleges that Complainant has acted in bad faith and is engaging in reverse domain name hijacking by initiating this dispute. Respondent contends that Complainant is attempting to deprive Respondent of its rights to the disputed domain name, and force the transfer of the domain name to Complainant because Respondent refused to sell. Respondent also claims that Complainant is not candid in its Complaint because it does not acknowledge the descriptive meaning of HIMS, its relevance to Respondent’s field of business, or Respondent’s prior uses of the disputed domain name. Complainant also does not provide an account of its many attempts to purchase the disputed domain name from Respondent. The Panel finds that, although these allegations may be true, Complainant had a colorable claim based on arguments of bad faith renewal of the disputed domain name, and therefore declines to find reverse hijacking. See Church in Houston v. Moran, D2001-0683 (WIPO Aug. 2, 2001) (noting that a finding of reverse domain name hijacking requires bad faith on the complainant’s part, which was not proven because the complainant did not know and should not have known that one of the three elements in Policy ¶ 4(a) was absent).”

Based on the RDNH discussion, in my opinion, UDRP providers need to do a better job of informing people that renewal in bad faith is no longer considered a valid argument. Based on this RDNH decision, it seems like almost every panel could rule against RDNH for this reason. In my opinion, it is the responsibility of the complainant to understand the rules of the UDRP. Either the Retroactive Bad Faith argument is not clearly discredited on the UDRP providers’ websites or compainants are responsible for knowing a domain owner can not renew a domain name in bad faith.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the 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


    • I believe the thinking went that a domain name could have been registered in good faith in 1995 and renewed for many years after, but the domain name was renewed in bad faith in 2018 because a trademark with the matching keyword became famous in 2017.

      I believe there were UDRP rulings that went against the domain owner citing this renewal in bad faith example. The ICA successfully fought to get this theory discredited so renewing a domain name can not be considered bad faith if it had been previously registered in good faith.

  1. Off topic and just my opinion.

    Just think about the traffic bleed from to…wow. I bet over 30-40%.

    I have seen their commercials. If their advertising worked and after a week or two, I wanted to go to their site I would type-in/Google “Hims”….not “GetHims” or “ForHims”.

    Major traffic leak.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Recent Posts

Poll: Are You Going to ICANN 79?

The ICANN 79 Community Forum Meeting is coming up in a couple of weeks. The meeting will be held in Puerto Rico from March...

Domain Broker’s Ad Campaign Highlighted by X Business with a Repost from Elon Musk

When looking at domain investor Twitter, I've noticed a few promoted/advertising tweets mentioning Rob Schutz and/or I recently wrote about Rob and his...

NameJet Announces Platform Enhancements

Last Summer, NameJet made some "big changes" to its platform. In essence, NameJet appears to have become a clone of Snapnames, its sister auction...

Rationale Behind Acquisition

It's not often that we hear from the founders of a company to discuss why they spent what they did to acquire a specific...

.Bet Domain Name Acquired for 5 Figures, Reportedly Resold for $600k

According to a tweet from Identity Digital (formerly Donuts), the domain name reportedly sold for $600,000. I have not verified or researched the...