WallStreet.com: The UDRP Decision Is In & The Panel Finds Reverse Domain Name Hijacking
The three member UDRP WIPO panel decision on the domain name WallStreet.com is out and not only was the complaint by Wall-Street.com, LLC rejected but the panel found the complainant engaged in Reverse Domain Name Hijacking (RDNH).
As to the issue of RDNH the panel said:
“It is a close question whether the Complaint was brought in bad faith for purposes of the Rules, paragraph 15(e). The post-Complaint emails included in the Respondent’s Supplemental Filing strongly suggest that the Complainant was not overly concerned with the strength of its UDRP position but used the UDRP filing as leverage for a settlement – a highly improper purpose.”
“The reason for the filing is simple, we needed to accelerate the process of coming to a settlement on how we can work together on the Wall Street Package.”
“Still, this attempt to “accelerate” a settlement would not necessarily amount to bad faith as long as the Complainant had a legitimate case under the UDRP based on the information available to it when the Complaint was filed.”
“The evident weakness of the Complainant’s UDRP claim is one of timing: the Disputed Domain Name came into the control of the Respondent’s group in 2001, yet the Complainant’s mark was not registered on the Principal Register of the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) until 2005.”
“Its registration on the Supplemental Register from September 2001 is not particularly helpful for the Complainant’s UDRP case, since that register is used precisely for marks currently ineligible for registration on the Principal Register because, for example, they are descriptive or geographic and have not yet acquired distinctiveness. ”
“Of greater concern is the Complainant’s admitted knowledge that the Respondent IOE held USPTO-registered trade marks for WALLSTREET and WALLSTREET.COM in 2007, the date that the Complainant deems appropriate for registration.”
“”The Complainant offers no reason why such ownership fails to bring the Respondent IOE within the safe harbor of paragraph 4(c)(i) of the Policy, despite its undertaking “that the assertions in this Complaint are warranted under these Rules and under applicable law, as it now exists or as it may be extended by a good-faith and reasonable argument.”
“The Complainant had an obligation under this Rule to explain to the Panel why it believed that IOE’s registered trade marks did not confer upon it a legitimate interest in a domain name that mirrored one of the trade marks exactly. ”
“This inexcusable omission, coupled with the Complainant’s admitted corollary purpose of using this Policy proceeding to force a settlement, justifies a finding of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking against the Complainant.”
We first told you about this complaint being filed back in June.
You may recall that WallStreet.com was the 1st million dollar domain sale, and was brokered by Monte Cahn currently with RightoftheDot.com in 1999.