According to NameBio, the Calpers.com domain name was sold for $1,718 in December of 2021 at NameJet. The California Public Employees’ Retirement System, commonly known as “CALPERS,” filed a UDRP against the domain name at the National Arbitration Forum and won the decision. The domain registrant did not submit a response.
In looking through the UDRP decision, this seems to have been a pretty easy case for the panelist to decide. Apparently, the “resolving website displays click-through advertising links to products and services, some of which compete with those of Complainant.” A domain name that matches a complainant’s trademark combined with infringing PPC links is a recipe for disaster for a domain registrant.
There were two things that caught my eye in this UDRP decision. The panelist is permitted to “conduct limited factual research regarding disputed domain names.” I don’t think everyone knows this, but it can sometimes be helpful to domain registrants who do not respond to a UDRP. Not responding is ill-advised, but it is still good to know a panelist is allowed to do a limited amount of research in an effort to understand the case a bit more.
In this particular case, the panelist discovered that the complainant previously owned this domain name. From the decision:
“The Panel has accessed the Internet Archive and determined that the disputed domain name appears to have originally been registered by Complainant, and used by Complainant through August 2005. It was subsequently not used, until sometime in 2022 when it was used to resolve to the parked page referred to above.
On the basis of the above, the Panel finds that Respondent did not originally register the disputed domain name and that Respondent registered the disputed domain name well after Complainant acquired its trademark rights in the CALPERS mark.”
In fact, I can see CalPERS appears to have been the domain registrant just prior to when the domain name expired and was auctioned. Now that CalPERS won the domain name in the UDRP, hopefully the organization will take better care of the asset.