We are a couple of weeks in to 2019, and it looks like we have our first notable UDRP filing. A UDRP was filed against TheSun.com at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). This UDRP is WIPO Case D2019-0084.
TheSun.com has a creation date of April of 2001, making it nearly 18 years old. The domain name is parked at Uniregistry, with a wide variety of seemingly generic links. There is a message that says “Lease this domain” at the top of the page. Clicking the link brings me to a page within the Venture.com website where the domain name is offered for lease for $10,000/month:
In October of 2017, I wrote about the launch of Venture.com, which was founded by Dr. Kevin Ham and his company. This is notable because a historical Whois record (maintained by DomainTools) from 2004 shows that the domain name was registered to a company using a @proto.com email address. The Whois for @proto.com shows another company name, and based on the photos on the about page of that website, I believe it is affiliated with Dr. Ham. I could be wrong, but to me, this would indicate the same registrant has had the domain name for many years.
The UDRP was filed by News Group Newspapers Limited. This company appears to operate a popular publication called The Sun, which I believe is based in the UK. This publication uses TheSun.co.uk for its website.
Although The Sun is a well-known publication, I think they are going to have a hard time winning the UDRP proceeding. From my perspective, the domain name seems to be very generic. In fact, I see the sun just about every day. In addition, it does not appear that there are any links on the landing page for news or newspapers. Put simply, I can’t imagine anyone would visit TheSun.com and confuse it for the publication.
I will be keeping my eye on this UDRP.