A UDRP has been filed against the Patricks.com domain name. The complainant is listed as a company called Patricks Universal Export Pty Ltd. The UDRP was filed at the World Intellectual Property Organization, and it is WIPO Case D2016-0653.
A Whois record shows that Patricks.com was originally registered in December of 1997. The domain name is currently parked, and I presently see advertising related to family tree, genealogical records, and other advertising links related to family history. It looks like many other extensions are also registered with the keyword “patricks,” not including other domain names that have the word “patricks” in them. Interestingly, Patricks.net is a website for a locksmith called Patrick’s and Patricks.org is a website for a band called Saint Patricks Pipe Band.
Historical Whois records dating back to as far as 2001 show a registrant with the same address and last name as the current registrant. It is very likely that the domain name was registered by this same registrant even longer than the oldest archived record in DomainTools, perhaps even as far back as the original creation date. It seems peculiar that a domain name that has been owned by the same entity for at least 15 years is subject to a UDRP.
I did a Google search for the complainant, and it appears that it is an Australian company that uses Patricks.com.au for its website. On the top of the website is the note, “PATRICKS ® AND PATRICKâ„¢ ARE TRADEMARKS OF PATRICKS UNIVERSAL EXPORT PTY LTD, TRADE NAME: PATRICKS. COPYRIGHT © 2012-2016 – PATRICKS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.” The company description page begins with the following introduction: “6 years ago, I saw a gap in the Australian market for a luxury men’s hairdressing salon.”
Assuming that the company is far younger than the domain name, I am not sure how the complainant will be able to prove that the domain name was registered in bad faith, let alone prove the other aspects. I will keep my eyes on this UDRP and will try to share an update when the decision is rendered.
Update: The UDRP decision was rendered, and the three-member panel ruled this was a case of reverse domain name hijacking. Attorney John Berryhill represented the domain name owner. Full details can be found on DNW.