In November of 2019, DAE.com expired and was sold via GoDaddy Auctions for $126,000. According to UDRPSearch.com, a UDRP was just filed against this high value domain name at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The case is WIPO case number D2020-0041.
The buyer of DAE.com chose to register the domain name using GoDaddy’s privacy proxy service, so the current registrant is not publicly known. It does not appear the domain name has been put into use yet, as the domain name resolves to a default GoDaddy landing page at the time of publication. Assuming it was an end user buyer, this is not surprising considering the search engine and marketing ramifications of a domain name rebranding.
The complainant in the UDRP filing is listed as Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) Ltd. A Google search revealed that this company operates on the nearly matching DubaiAerospace.com domain name. It looks like the company does use DAE as an acronym in various lines of business, but that should not entitle it to the high value DAE.com domain name.
Out of curiosity, I checked to see who owned DAE.com prior to its expiry, and it looks like it had been owned by a company called Dae Advertising.
Three letter .com domain names are quite valuable. In fact, they regularly sell for mid five, six, and even seven figures (see recent 3 letter .com sales). In order to prevail in the UDRP, Dubai Aerospace Enterprise will need to prove the domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith (among other things). Unless I am missing something, I do not see how this domain name is being used in bad faith. I would also find it hard to believe a company spent $126k on this domain name without plans to use it.
I will keep my eyes on the UDRP decisions and share an update once the decision is published.
Thanks to Observer for sharing this information with me.
Update: The decision was published. The domain registrant will retain the domain name but a finding of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking was not made. The Honorable Neil Brown QC posted a thorough dissent to the RDNH discussion, and that is a must read.