Owner Of UGN.com Forced to Defend UDRP Against Someone With No Trademark & No Proof

Talk about a waste of money.

The owner of the domain name UGN.com just successfully defended a UDRP against UGN, Inc which was represented by Laura Petrolino of Arment Dietrich, Inc., Illinois

The owner of the domain has owned it since at least 2001.

Complainant had a trademark for the term UGN SOUND SOLUTIONS FOR THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY but not for one for UGN.

The one member panelist Sandra J. Franklin, made short work of the decision, throwing the case out since the Complainant failed to “submitted any arguments or proof that is has rights in UGN as a mark, but merely states that UGN, Inc. is its brand name.”

“The Panel finds that Complainant has not met its burden of proof under Policy ΒΆ 4(a)(i) and, therefore denies the Complaint.

Considering that all three elements of the Policy must be met and that the Complainant has failed to satisfy the very first element, the Panel declines to analyze the other two elements of the Policy.”

So the domain holder had to spend money and time to defend this UDRP that had no basis for a claim.

Comments

  1. johnuk says

    I guess the ONLY goods things about UDRP’s ,and I mean ONLY, is that if you successfully defend them then you can name your price to a large degree.

  2. says

    Andrew

    I think the good news is the domain owner lucked out by winning without responding.

    However if someone files a UDRP without a trademark and without a common law trademark or even alleging they have rights to the domain based off of a trademark, then there should be a finding of RDNH.

    I mean how is this case that is disposed of in a 100 word opinion not a RDNH?

  3. Gulab Jamon says

    Laura Petrolinom, Client Services Director of law firm Arment Dietrich, describes herself as ” I’m a pint sized blonde ninja busy doing a kick ass job being me! “.

    Not sure if the client realized that he was engaging a blonde ninja in this case, anyway she didn’t much so kick anyone’s ass – more likely she shot herself in the foot.

  4. contrib says

    RDNH is a joke.. Who cares if you get a RDNH, it does not get your time or money spent on attorneys, etc. back like you do in other courts. There has to be a penalty otherwise EVERYone in this industry will see one of the weakest and strongest points in our industry, the legal flow of IP at risk of getting out of hand. I will support anyone who is or would press thi this issue to ICANN and others about common sense rules that need changed. Otherwise its just talk on a chat board and no real action to correct it and make it right to own without risk valuable property others are trying to steal. Right now its only affected me 3-4 times this year but I can see this getting out of hand quickly if we dont act soon and address it with a voice.. Lets talk if interested. chad

  5. johnuk says

    As they say “united we stand ,divided we fall”. What is being suggested is a good idea, but
    the one thing that often overides such good ideas is self interest. What “we” really need to find is a
    lawyer who will act on no win no fee basis (I did once in Germany) and defend them for a percentage maybe. The first thing to do is decide which is best jurisidction and what a grouping can achieve that cannot be achieved by individuals.

  6. falconx2020 says

    Agreed with the comments above. This is going to get ridiculous real fast with time. Before someone files a complaint, there should be a series of checklists that the potential complainant should pass. If at any point they fail or do not meet a certain criteria, then they can not file a complaint. Perhaps the powers that be do not want this since they do get a fee (granted not life changing, but still they do get a fee).
    Also, the complainant should pony up some sort of additional amount (perhaps $2k+) to go in escrow. If they lose the case, then those funds get transferred to the respondent. If they win, the funds are returned. This makes the complainant put some more skin in the game and at the same time give a little something to the respondent for wasting their time (especially with bogus claims).
    I remember reading some registrar offering UDRP insurance. I don’t know how that has worked for them. I know I’m not about to transfer all my domains to this registrar. But I won’t mind paying a small annual fee within a large group to create a “lawyer fund” aka UDRP insurance.
    And the reason for this, kickass lawyers like John Berryhill and others are worth every penny for what they ask. And they do get results as we have all seen. But small timers like myself, can’t always come up with their well deserved fees.
    Oh and one last thing, yeah RDNH is a joke. Other than getting posted on Rick’s Hall of Shame website, what is the point? The complainant’s don’t get penalized financially. So they were just found guilty of RDNH, and now what? I don’t know. But this process needs some serious tweaking or updating.
    The storm is brewing. Something has to change or we need a battle plan. This is going to get out of hand.

  7. says

    Thanks for all of your thoughtful remarks. As the “blonde ninja” in question, I agree with the previous commenter, falconx2020, that there needs to be a clearer course of action and extremely well laid out requirements for this process. Digging into it and trying to figure out how to proceed, what rights we had, and all the details in between was no easy task for someone not familiar with the industry or process.

    From our perspective, and that of our client (not being lawyers), after reading through the documentation it appeared that we had a solid case. Again, this isn’t our speciality, so we acted strictly from the perspective of what made logical business sense.

    Here were the facts we looked at:
    -We had the trademark for “UGN, Sound Solutions….” in combination with doing business as UGN, Inc. and being well known in the industry by that name.
    -The current holder had no valid contact information, emails were undeliverable and the phone number provided was disconnected. And as noted, didn’t respond to the complaint (because there was no valid form of communication available to reach him.
    -The domain was not in use, nor had been.

    Again, to all of you who live in this world, it might seem clear that we didn’t have a case. To us, it wasn’t. Different backgrounds and experience yield different levels of clarity on situations such as this.

    It has been a clear learning lesson obviously.

    Again, thanks for your feedback.

    • Gulab Jamon says

      This case, like so many other cases, highlights what is so wrong with the UDRP.

      Yet again another case of “Yes I know we should have done a little more homework. So sorry, we thought we had a good chance”.

      The respondent didn’t respond – maybe wisely knowing this would be a slamdunk case. However they could have so easily spent several thousand dollars in legal fees and $1500 in addition for a 3 party panel defending this case – and all for what? Not even a meaningless, toothless RDNH decision.

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