A UDRP has been filed against the generic-sounding domain name, TheToolShed.com. The UDRP was filed at the National Arbitration Forum (NAF), and it is case #1737883. The UDRP was first spotted by UDRPSearch.com.
TheToolshed.com was created in 2003, and the domain name is registered to NameFind, a company that is owned and operated by GoDaddy. A Historical Whois search at DomainTools shows that this domain name was previously owned by Worldwide Media, Inc., the company founded by Michael Berkens. Michael sold the vast majority of his domain name portfolio to GoDaddy at the end of 2015. The Whois History Tool shows that Worldwide Media owned this domain name dating back to 2003.
The domain name is parked with pay per click advertising related to tools. I do not see a price for this domain name at NameFind or Afternic. The PGA recently filed a UDRP against ThePlayers.com, and that UDRP was terminated. The PGA now owns the domain name, so I suspect they were able to reach a deal prior to the decision being rendered. The complicating factor in that case were the golf-related PPC links. In this UDRP, the links are all related to tools, which makes sense because the keywords are “The tool shed”
Because the UDRP was filed at the NAF, the complainant is not yet known because the NAF does not publish that information prior to the decision being announced. The keywords “The Toolshed” seems like a fairly descriptive term, so I won’t know for certain who filed the UDRP until the decision is rendered. A Google search for “The tool shed” shows quite many different websites using that term:
- The Tool Shed (of New Zealand – uses Thetoolshed.co.nz)
- The Tool Shed hardware store in Waltham, Massachusetts
- The Toolshed blog from Patheos
- The Tool Shed from Rooted In Community (RIC)
- Galaxy Tool Shed from Penn State University
- The Bioeconomy Tool Shed from the USDA
- The Toolshed – @nctoolshed on Twitter
- The Tool Shed from Cook Portable Warehouses
- The Tool Shed – a community workspace and storage site that uses TheToolShed.org
There are a bunch of other websites who use some variety of The Toolshed or The Tool Shed in their branding. This doesn’t even include those who are known as Tool Shed or Toolshed and think “The” is an identifier. As a result, I wouldn’t even guess who filed the UDRP because it might not even be one of the names above.
From my perspective, if it isn’t fairly obvious who the complainant would be when a UDRP is filed, it should be extremely difficult for the complainant to prevail. I understand that there are trademarks around the world that I may not recognize, but if the domain name is made up of a completely generic term like “The Tool Shed,” and there are several businesses known by that term, the panel should rule in favor of the domain name owner.
I would be curious to know if the complainant attempted to buy the domain name and filed the UDRP as a “plan B.” I suppose we will see.
Update: According to UDRPSearch.com, this UDRP is listed as “Withdrawn.” The domain name is now registered to a company called The Tool Shed, which uses TheToolShedInc.com as its domain name. The domain name still resolves to a parked landing page. I would guess they worked out a deal for the domain name rather than see it through the full UDRP process.