Zoyo.com Domain Name Retained by Registrant Despite No Response

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I occasionally take issue with a UDRP panelist for one reason or another, but today I want to compliment WIPO panelist Desmond J. Ryan for a job well done.

A UDRP was filed against the Zoyo.com domain name at WIPO, and the domain registrant did not respond to the complaint. Fortunately for the registrant, the single panelist ruled in its favor and the registrant will be able to keep the domain name.

I say it is fortunate because of what was stated in the UDRP, particularly Section 5 (Parties’ Contentions). From the decision:

“(v) The Complainant’s assertion that the Respondent’s claim that the disputed domain name was bought “a few years ago” is false and in bad faith as the WhoIs shows that it was acquired by the Respondent on April 18, 2018.”

Here is a screenshot of the current Whois record via GoDaddy:

Here is a screenshot of a historical Whois record from March of 2011, courtesy of DomainTools:

Maybe I am missing something, but these two records appear to show the same information. Assuming this is correct and the registrant has owned the domain name for at least several years, the registrant is lucky the panelist did not make a decision based on this and rule in favor of the complainant.

Interestingly, it was also reported that the domain owner bought the name for $10,000 and was willing to sell it for that amount. From the decision:

“I bought it for $10,000 a few years ago. I will sell it for $10,000 take it or leave it. No negotiation. Please let me know how you would like to proceed”.

In my opinion, $10,000 for Zoyo.com is a very fair price, and I would not be surprised to see a name like that sell at a domain investor auction for that price. According to NameBio, Zoyo.com sold via Sedo in May of 2008 for $9,292. A historical Whois record at DomainTools shows the domain name was registered to Sedo in May of 2008 and then went private until 2011.

Ultimately, the panelist denied the complaint and gave the following explanation:

“The disputed domain name was registered in April, 2002. The Complainant was not incorporated until March, 2018 and its trade mark rights date from February, 2018. Accordingly, there appears no basis upon which the Panel could conclude that the original registration was made in bad faith or with the intention of targeting the Complainant. The Complainant, however, contends that the Respondent acquired the disputed domain name only on April 2, 2018 and cites the WhoIs for the disputed domain name for this proposition; however, the Panel is unable to find anything in the WhoIs to establish the Complainant’s contention. The only indication is that the WhoIs states that it was updated on April 2, 2018, but without further evidence, that does not establish that the updating was to record the acquisition of the disputed domain name by the Respondent on that date. On the face of it therefore the Complainant has failed to establish that the Respondent’s statement in response to the Complainant’s enquiry that it acquired the disputed domain name “some years ago” is false. On the basis of the evidence presently available therefore, the Panel is unable to find that the disputed domain name has been registered in an attempt to target the Complainant in bad faith. The Panel further notes that the Complainant states that it requires the disputed domain name for use as part of the expansion and development of its business. This would seem to indicate that the Complaint has been filed as simply a part of its business expansion plan and perhaps indicates that the Complainant does not fully understand the nature and purpose of the Policy.

Despite what has been said above, if the facts are that the Respondent did not acquire the disputed domain name until April, 2018, at a time when there was considerable activity and perhaps publicity in relation to the establishment of the Complainant’s group, that might paint a different picture. Accordingly, on the basis of the evidence before the Panel on the present record, the Panel proposes to deny the Complaint but to do so without prejudice to the filing of a new Complaint should evidence become available to support the Complainant’s contentions in relation to the Respondent’s identity and acquisition of the disputed domain name.”

26 COMMENTS

      • I understand the panel didn’t find any proof that the domain was acquired in 2018, maybe it wasn’t, or maybe it was but the sale was done privately. If it was reported on namebio for example the complainant would have had the proof the panel needed.

  1. “I would not be surprised to see a name like that sell at a domain investor auction for that price”

    What? I wouldn’t even register it for reg fee.

      • I can’t tell if you’re joking or not.

        It’s clearly at least a 4 figure name. I think it would sell at NameJet for at least 4 figures, even with its UDRP history and threat of future legal trouble.

        • I was not joking but I will entertain that maybe I went a little overboard. I’m just in a very jaded mood today. Also, I’ve been getting rid of what is probably close to 700 domains in recent months, and I’ve certainly discarded better ones than that, many of which HugeDomains doubtless appreciates by now. If it’s 4 figures I still don’t see a substantial 4 figures that would materialize so easily or quickly, though perhaps a very low 4 figures could be relatively quick at times.

        • Honestly, what is so great about this domain? Did anyone not read what Rick S. said about lane.com recently over at Morgan Linton’s? Being 4 characters means nothing for this one. The only thing that makes it possibly a source of flipping for a quick buck is that some companies have it as their brand name. I haven’t done an extensive search, so I’m all ears otherwise, but so far it’s mainly about yogurt. So is this not what gives domaining a bad name to begin with? Who wants to spend their life playing brand-interest roulette? I’d much rather have a “real” domain, i.e. a meaningful killer word or phrase that doesn’t depend almost entirely on whether one can snag a score from a brand owner while also trying to avoid a UDRP or worse, or just maybe attract someone who thinks it’s “brandable.” Sure, you see Mann sells some of those here and there, with TM’s on them no less, yet he skates, but I’ll bet his domain enterprise is seriously in the red carrying all that stuff long term.

        • For reference:

          https://www.thedomains.com/2018/11/04/where-will-one-of-the-best-names-at-auction-in-2018-close/#comment-228552

          “Rick Schwartz says

          NOVEMBER 4, 2018 AT 8:56 AM

          I don’t even like the domain.
          I don’t see the value that others see in it other than it’s 4 letters and a word.
          I think FastLane or ExpressLane would have more meaning, would be more desirable and would be more valuable. But good luck to all bidders.”

          Zoyo is not even a word.

          • Sure, but in your heart of hearts you know full well there is a lot of groupthink and sheep-like herding in the industry. There is also a scarcity of real world end user thinking about domains compared to domainer thinking.

          • I only say what I mean and mean what I say on my own, but since I’m just an anonymous drifter in the wind it’s nice when someone known like Rick Schwartz can be quoted.

            As far as cvcv’s go, I will certainly be among the first to say a lot of them are going to be extremely valuable. Just no love for this one. Under the circumstances, however, it’s not hard to see why there could be brand owners willing to pay $5k and up, and it’s well worth it to them and not unreasonable (and frankly generous) for someone to just want to recoup cost, but that’s still a gamble and still like just dealing in expensive lottery tickets vs. a genuinely high quality domain on its own.

          • You said; “Zoyo is not even a word” .Either is “domainer”, lol! I’m not sure if you’re the same “John,know it all” that was giving me a ration a few days ago, but sometimes a little honest introspection can help.

          • You mean you’re not sure if I’m this same John(?):

            “John November 16, 2018, 12:03 am

            “Think long and hard about it John….you’ll figure it out someday.” Yes, I think I have, and I think “enough people/domain investors reading this” have as well.”

            (https://morganlinton.com/two-word-coms-continue-to-be-some-of-the-most-powerful-branding-assets-on-the-planet/)

            Yup, yours truly, Richard. And “domainer” is a word by established common usage.
            And still have you figured out. And apparently “Anonymous” over there at the bottom does too now, part of the “enough people/domain investors reading this” crew. And now enough people/investors here should too. And “troll” is also a real word. Have I fed you enough yet? But it’s all for the cause. 😉

  2. So if I understand correctly, the complainant lost because he mistakenly thought that the domain was acquired by the respondent on April 18, 2018; in other words, the complainant misinterpreted the WHOIS record.

    • Assuming that is accurate, I think the domain registrant had the name quite a while before the trademark. In addition, it seems like the registrant’s last name matches the domain name.

      If this is correct and the registrant has responded to the UDRP, I think it could easily have been ruled Reverse Domain Name Hijacking.

  3. Is it based on when the domain was first registered, which with this domain was 2002, or when the current registrant acquired the domain?

  4. John…will you be at NamesCon in Vegas in January? The reason I ask is you and I could do a great comedy stitch with you being my set up guy like you’ve been on the blogs. You could use some great one liners like, “I’m feeling a bit Jaded tonight”, or “I wouldn’t register ZOYO™.com for the reg fee.”

    Remember how I said you bring out the BEST in me? I just hand reg’d iNameStuff™.com. Now when asked, Bulloney™, what do you do for a living? I can proudly say, “I name stuff.” No more of this, “I’m a domainer” BS where 99% of the world hasn’t a clue what a domainer is.

    Thanks again John, and if you and “anonymous” come to Vegas, between the three of us we’ll bring the house down….Gobble! Gobble!

    Bulloney™

  5. I see now you do have a sense of humor John…..how about anonymous? Again you motivated me to do a couple of things today;

    1. I just finished “booking” my round trip to Vegas…i get in Saturday the 26th around 5:00pm and i depart Wednesday around around 6:00am
    2. and I booked ComedyVacations™ and LaughVacations™ just for the occasion. Since you’ve pegged me as “liar” among other things, I would recommend “you and your ilk” check with WHOIS to see who booked these names.

    Enough fun for now John…feel free to comment. Thanks for being you!

    Bulloney

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