Last month, the Walmart.Horse domain name was in the news as the company sent a cease and desist letter to Jeph Jacques, the owner of the domain name. Jacques, replied to the C&D letter, stating, “I would argue that Walmart.horse is an obvious parody and therefore falls under fair use.”
It looks like the company has decided to take further action to get control of the Walmart.Horse domain name. According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) website, Wal-mart Stores filed a UDRP for the Walmart.Horse domain name. The UDRP is WIPO Case D2015-0714.
When news first broke about the cease and desist letter, articles about it were published in Consumerist, Vice, Fortune, New York Daily News, ArsTechnica, and quite a few other news outlets. In the Vice article about Walmart.Horse, Jacques discussed why he bought the domain name. At the time of the article, Jacques mentioned that he hadn’t heard back from Walmart, presumably after he responded to their cease and desist letter. Judging by the UDRP filing, it looks like Walmart is serious about getting control of this domain name.
It will be interesting to see how (or if) Jacques responds to the UDRP. It can be relatively inexpensive to hire an attorney to respond to a UDRP, but winning might not mean that he is free and clear to keep the domain name if the company decides to continue to pursue it. Should Jacques prevail, it could lead to further legal action from the company.
I will continue to follow this interesting case.