A UDRP was filed for the Cousteau.com domain name at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The UDRP is WIPO Case D2017-0685. I think this case will be an interesting one to follow, especially for people who participate in expired domain name auctions.
Cousteau.com has a creation date of April 12, 1995, making the domain name more than 20 years old. The domain name is currently registered to an individual, and when I visited Cousteau.com today, the domain name did not resolve. Most interestingly to me, this domain name was just won on NameJet at the end of January for $2,600, according to NameBio.
The complainant in this UDRP is Cousteau Society, Inc., an organization founded in 1973 by Captain Jacques Cousteau. When I first saw the domain name, my immediate thought was of the marine explorer Jacques Cousteau. The organization uses Cousteau.org for its website.
Prior to the auction on NameJet, it appears the Cousteau Society owned the Cousteau.com domain name. The earliest historical Whois record I can see is from 2001, and the organization owned the domain name at that point. A Historical Whois record from DomainTools shows that the domain name likely expired in mid-December. When it was not renewed by the domain registrant, it went to auction.
It appears that there quite a few people who have the first and last name of Cousteau. This will likely make the UDRP decision interesting. It is the domain registrant’s responsibility to renew their domain names. As someone who regularly bids on expired domain name auctions, I will be following this closely.
Update: According to UDRPSearch.com, the complainant won the UDRP and the domain name will be transferred (assuming no further legal intervention).