This morning, I was looking through the recent UDRP filings at the World Intellectual Property Organization, and I saw an aggravating one that should almost certainly be denied, hopefully with a finding of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking. The Ministre des Relations internationales, de la Francophonie et du Commerce extÃ©rieur (Department of International Relations) has filed a UDRP for the Quebec.com domain name.
Quebec.com is owned by Anything.com, Ltd., a company that owns a large portfolio of exceptional keyword domain names, including YL.com, YE.com, 10.com, and many others. The company has owned this domain name since for at least 10 years and probably much longer than that (Whois history records for this name stop in 2003 and it has a 1998 creation date). That almost certainly means that Ari Goldberger of the ESQwire law firm will respond to the complaint.
Ari is no stranger to geographical UDRP decisions, having won a number of them. In fact, in the LomaLinda.com UDRP which Ari successfuly defended, the panelist stated, “the general rule that geographic names are not subject to trademark protection.”
I think it’s ridiculous that a UDRP would be filed against a geodomain name like Quebec.com. The UDRP system and legal system have ruled in favor of domain name owners far more often than the complainants. Just a few such cases include Pocatello.com, MyrtleBeach.com, Barcelona.com, StMoritz.com, CityOfSalinas.com, and Norcross.com.