Finally A UDRP Panel Gets The Domain Aftermarket Finding RDNH On ColdFront.com

Mr Schwartz feel free to add Personally Cool Inc. of New York, USA to your list of companies found Guilty of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking (RDNH) on the domain name ColdFront.com

The domain, as indicted in the title to the post, is owned by Frank Schilling’s Name Administration Inc. which was as always represented by John Berryhill, Pennsylvania, USA.

Here are the only two takeaways you need to know from this case.

Personally Cool, Inc, get a trademark in 2009, Name Administration registers the domain in 2002.

A loser for a trademark holder which is owned by a company that wasn’t even in existence back in  2002 when the domain was registered.

Here the second thing you need to know

Finally A UDRP panel understands the domain aftermarket:

“The Complainant argues that the Respondent’s website does not receive much Internet traffic, so is not being used legitimately, but is actually being used to drive up the price of the domain name.  The Complainant asserts that the Respondent is attempting to sell the domain name as the first line at the resolving website states “Click here to buy Coldfront.com for your website name.”

“The Complainant notes that the asking price is $51,000, and that that Complainant has been informed that the registrant will not take less than $20,000. ”

“The Complainant also notes that the last hyperlink on the website is for <DomainNameSales.com>.  The Complainant asserts that the Respondent’s contentions that there is a secondary market for domain names that is legitimate exceeds the definition of such a market, as two independent appraisers have appraised the domain name at around 17 times less than what the Respondent seeks”.

“The Panel finds that the bona fide nature of the Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name is not affected by whether or not the Respondent is interested in selling the disputed domain name or the preferred price.”

“If the Respondent has legitimate interests in the domain name, it has the right to sell that domain name for whatever price it deems appropriate regardless of the value that appraisers may ascribe to the domain name. ”

“Nor does the amount of traffic on the site matter; if Respondent chooses to use the domain name for a website with pay-per-click advertising that is related to the generic meaning of the domain name, that is the Respondent’s prerogative; such use is legitimate regardless of whether it is successful. ”

BINGO

As far as the three member panel’s finding to the issue of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking it said:

In this case, the disputed domain name was registered more than seven years prior to the Complainant’s application for trademark registration for COLDFRONT. Apart from being a trademark of the Complainant and other trademark owners, “cold front” is also a generic word for a weather-related incident. The webpage linked to the disputed domain name has not been used to compete with or tarnish the Complainant’s trademark or business, but to present pay-per-click advertisement within fields unrelated thereto”.

“The Panel finds that the Complainant had or could easily have obtained knowledge of all these facts before it brought its Complaint to the Forum.  Indeed, the Respondent expressly warned Complainant about the frivolous nature of its claims but the Complainant proceeded.  It is true that Complainant appeared pro se, without counsel, but that is not an excuse for clear disregard for the limitations of the Policy.  Rather, when there are questions about the validity of the claim – and especially where Respondent offered detailed information about why a complaint would have no merit – it is incumbent upon the Complainant to research carefully the validity of its claims, including if necessary consulting with experienced counsel.”

“Therefore, after considering the submissions in this case the Panel finds that the Complaint was brought in bad faith in an attempt at Reverse Domain Name Hijacking”.

 

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