It’s been a little while since I reported on a UDRP filing involving a valuable three letter .com domain name. I noticed a UDRP was just filed against SSC.com at the World Intellectual Property Organization. The UDRP is WIPO Case D2018-2422.
SSC.com was created in July of 1989, making it nearly 30 years old and one of the oldest domain names in existence. From what I can see using the DomainTools Whois History tool, the domain appears to have been registered to an entity in China since 2013. The domain name appears to have been registered under privacy protection, which may have been lifted as a result of the UDRP filing. The current registrant appears to be based in China.
When I visited SSC.com today, the domain name did not resolve, and I received this error message “ssc.com’s server IP address could not be found.” In fact, Google suggested another SSC related website, but not the complainant’s: “Did you mean http://ssc.edu/?” A search of Archive.org and Screenshots.com does not yield any results since 2013, so it does not appear as if the domain name had any advertising or anything that could indicate it is for sale.
According to NameBio, SSC.com sold for $50,299 on March 15, 2013. The domain name was sold via auction at NameJet.
The complainant in this UDRP is listed as Service Spring Corp. The company’s website uses the exact match ServiceSpringCorp.com domain name, and the company does use “SSC” for its logo and the website has quite a few mentions of SSC throughout. Interestingly, on its “terms” page, the company refers to itself as “Service Spring” rather than SSC.
When I did a Google search for “SSC,” this company was not listed in the top 100 results for me. Quite a few other entities were listed, including these ten:
- Seven Stars Cloud Group Inc. (Has the SSC ticker symbol on NASDAQ
- Staff Selection Commission.
- SSC Venture Partners
- South Shore Conservatory
- SSC Services for Education
- Spitzer Science Center
- SSC Digital Network
- Statistical Society of Canada
- Simons Simplex Collection
- Scientific and Standardization Committee
Unless I am missing something, I think the complainant is going to have a tough time winning the UDRP for this valuable LLL.com domain name. There are a whole lot of companies and organizations that are also called SSC (or have the SSC abbreviation/acronym) and would seem to have a similar interest in getting this domain name. I also don’t see anything to indicate that the SSC.com domain name was registered and used in bad faith, which is necessary to prevail in a UDRP. As readers know, three letter .com domain names are hold substantial value, partly because there are generally many uses for them and many entities that would love to own them.
Update: UDRP complaint was denied. It does not look like the panel considered Reverse Domain Name Hijacking.
I’m a beginner, now I’m confused after reading this article! How can anyone claim a trademark on any random 3 letters .COM domain name?
Won’t 3 letters domain names comes under like generic category so tht no one can hold a trademark on it?
I can have a company called “Smart skin care”, so I too can buy SSC.com right without checking Trademarks? I mean, in general do we need to check trademarks before buying any random 3L domain name?
The registrant better lawyer up and respond to this UDRP. The Complainant registered a trademark for SSC with the USPTO in 2010, alleging “first use” in 1973. That mark’s registration thus predates the date of domain ownership by the current registrant (2013.) This legal maneuver has been used several times before, when the domain changed hands.
All true, but highly unlikely for a Chinese registrant to have been aware of an American company with an SSC trademark to have targeted it in bad faith.
Irrelevant. There are 28 valid trademarks for SSC for everything from a jewelry company to a dog groomer to a floor covering business. You see, each trademark is attached to a “Goods and Services.” definition. In this case Service Spring Corp’s trademark is confined to “IC 006. US 002 012 013 014 023 025 050. G & S: Metal springs for overhead doors, namely, torsion springs, extension springs…… (you get the point)”.
This is how, for example, American Automobile Association, Inc. and AAA Furniture Wholesale Inc. both hold prominence with the “AAA” trademark because they operate in completely different businesses. This would not be the case if American Automobile Association was building sofas.
So unless SSC of Guangdong, Hong Kong is in the garage door spring business there is absolutely zero traction available for arguing a trademark case, period.
Even so…. Let’s pretend SSC of Guangdong does make springs and could be infringing on the SSC mark, guess what? Still not enough. You must prove an additional two pieces:
1) The registrant does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the domain name
Being as SSC of Guangdong (or its agents) paid a significant amount of money for the domain and they quite likely do operate under the name SSC; it’s reasonable to assume they have a legitimate interest.
2) The domain name has been registered and the domain name is being used in “bad faith”
Since the domain has been parked since the stone age there is obviously no bad faith motive unless they could prove something like email farming off the back end, but being as ssc.com doesn’t even have a MX record — uh, yeah.
So Acro…. before doling out the crappy legal advice please see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uniform_Domain-Name_Dispute-Resolution_Policy and brush up.
I’m not doling out any legal advice, simply stating the facts. I’ve seen plenty of UDRP decisions that delivered a finding that favors the Complainant, simply because there was a change in ownership; the key in this case is the fact that the SSC mark predates the current owner’s acquisition of the domain. So, the Respondent better lawyer up and respond. PS Existence of other marks does not prohibit any of them from claiming rights to the .com. Time for you to brush up.
“first used” SSC? or rather first used by alphabet letters, and used by many creatures on earth?
“SSC” have been used before the world was created!
If you don’t pay, you don’t own; move on…