Late last week, I noticed a UDRP was filed against the generic, high value Picture.com domain name. The UDRP was filed at the World Intellectual Property Organization. It is WIPO Case D2020-2016.
Picture.com was originally created more than 25 years ago – in September of 1994. The domain name is registered under privacy proxy, and it forwards to a purchase inquiry page at Uniregistry Market. In October of 2019, domain investor James Booth announced that his company acquired Picture.com, although it is unclear if his company still owns this valuable asset:
— James Booth (@DomainBooth) October 26, 2019
The complainant in this UDRP is a company called Picture Organic Clothing. A Google search shows that this company appears to own the double hyphenated, brand match Picture-Organic-Clothing.com domain name. It seems pretty clear why this company would want to have Picture.com, but it is not clear why the company believes it will win a UDRP. A LinkedIn business search shows that this company was founded in 2008, which is about 14 years after Picture.com was originally registered.
For the last several years, UDRP panels have regularly ruled in favor of domain registrants when it comes to dictionary .com domain names. A quick search shows some recent UDRP cases that went in favor of domain registrants including Naturals.com, Bellhops.com, Novelist.com, Legally.com, and Circus.com. Panels have also found that investing in domain names and selling domain names is a perfect legitimate business practice.
Because Picture.com is such a generic and high value domain name, I do not see how the complainant is going to prevail in the UDRP. In fact, I would not be surprised to see a finding of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking (RDNH).