Secaucus, New Jersey is a relatively small town that is close in proximity to New York City. While looking at UDRPSearch.com this afternoon, I noticed the Town of Secaucus filed a UDRP against the SecaucusNJ.org domain name at the World Intellectual Property Organization. It is WIPO Case D2020-0509.
From the looks of it, this does not appear to be a typical UDRP filing. In looking through Screenshots.com, it appears that this was a developed website, and I believe it was operated by the town of Secaucus. A Google search also shows the town operates the matching .gov domain name for its website – SecaucusNJ.gov. It is unclear whether the town operated two distinct websites, and if so, for how long.
A Whois search for SecaucusNJ.org shows very little information because of GDPR, but it appears that the registrant is based in the country of Malta. A historical Whois search at DomainTools using the Whois History tool shows the domain name was registered to the Town of Secaucus, NJ in 2019. Because of the way GoDaddy protects some registrant information on third party websites, I am not able to see if the registrant email address is that of a town employee, so it is not totally clear that the Town was the registrant. Prior to that, the domain name had been registered to what appears to be a local web development company in New Jersey.
Based on the Whois information alone, I am not totally able to tell what happened with the domain name that would warrant a UDRP filing.
Using NameBio though, I can see this domain name was reportedly sold on August 6, 2019 for $910 via GoDaddy. My educated guess is that the domain name expired, possibly due to an oversight, and someone bought the domain name via GoDaddy Auctions for $910.
I look forward to reading the UDRP decision to see what happened with this domain name and see how it ends up. SecaucusNJ.org is a fairly generic geographic domain name, so it might not be a cut and dry decision.
Update: The Town of Secaucus has prevailed in this UDRP and will get the domain name returned.
If the complainant felt they had an entitlement to the label “Secaucus NJ”, then why haven’t they ever disputed SecaucusNJ.com – https://whoisology.com/secaucusnj.com which is incidentally owned by GoDaddy’s NameFind division?
Perhaps the current usage is confusing?
But they have to have exclusive rights first to be able to argue that.
They clearly don’t have any geographic monopoly.
True. It will be an interesting case to follow.
Didn’t you own Secaucus.com many years ago?
So in essence, Elliot, WIPO is essentially also calling you a cybersquatter.
What do you have to say about that?
Not sure how you came to that conclusion. This domain name was owned by the town before expiry. The domain name I owned was not. This “disputed domain name resolved to a website which displayed outdated information and content from the Complainant’s website.” My domain name did not.
This is a completely different scenario than owning a generic geographic .com that the town wanted.
I don’t agree all aspects of the decision, but I think the usage of the domain name was the biggest thing that doomed the case.
Because WIPO is essentially acknowledging the town’s exclusive right to the geographic term “Secaucus” which exactly matches your Secaucus.com site name which you admittedly once owned.
What a joke, huh?
I don’t think this is a great decision, but I don’t think the registrant should have used it in the manner described.
Then it should have been a DMCA claim, not a UDRP, right?
I am not a lawyer, but it did not seem like it was an appropriate venue.
Flip side is that the registrant could have had much more potential liability on the line.
Permanent loss of property is more serious than a DMCA fine, isn’t it?
Did anyone check out the nameservers before it switched over? I have seen similar cases where the new buyer left a domain’s DNS unchanged and it inadvertently linked to the old nameservers and site (it happens with parking all the time) – when you clicked on it, you were shown a copy of the site from the old server.
It seems extremely unlikely the new buyer would somehow “copy” an outdated version of the site as opposed to leaving the nameservers unchanged.
Typically, when a domain name expires, the registrar changes the nameservers. Not sure what happened here but it doesn’t appear that the respondent disputed what was reported in the complaint..