Back In October we told you that the former owner of the domain name Prince.com filed a UDRP, seeking return of the domain which he claimed was stolen and resold.
Today a three member panel decision denied the claim saying simply that the UDRP was not designed to handle a claim of alleged theft:
“””The contentions of the Parties indicate that this is not a case to be decided under the Policy.
The Policy was designed to combat cyber squatting, the abusive registration and use of a domain name which is identical or confusingly similar with a trade mark to which the Complainant has rights.
This case, however, concerns the question who is the rightful owner of the Domain Name. As the Complainant has put it, the purpose of his Complaint is to recover “his stolen property”. The Respondent, on the other hand, takes the position that he purchased the Domain Name in a completely legitimate manner from an agent of its rightful owner. The Policy was not designed nor is it equipped to decide whether the Domain Name was taken without the Complainant’s knowledge or consent, involving as it does legal issues outside the Policy and credibility of competing testimony that a Policy panel is incapable of resolving.
This clearly is a case for the courts and the Complaint must therefore be dismissed.
For the same reasons, the Panel wishes to remark that under the Policy it is not suitable for the Complainant to accuse the Respondent of theft, and for the Panel to be expected to assess and enter a finding on such allegation under the Policy. Similarly, it is not suitable for the Respondent to suggest that the Complainant may have managed a scheme in which he uses the Policy to get a Domain Name back after selling it to a third party like the Respondent for substantial consideration.
Such accusation and suggestion are not only difficult in such cases to assess within the ambit of the Policy process but – as is true in nearly every case in which such conduct has occurred – unhelpful to the Panel, as they clutter the record and divert attention from the Policy issues necessary to decide the ca
I agree with the Panel – however others panels have no problem overstretching the reach of UDRP inorder to take a domain away from the rightful owner – where a civil court and $100K in legal fee will get it back.
This is nothing more than a “feel good” decision for a panel to somehow rationalize other poor UDRP opinions.
What comes to mind is Chad Wright and his Hayward.com which 3 arm chair Quarterbacks took it away from him earlier this year.
Hayward.com still belongs to Chad…. that was a ridiculous UDRP decision, obviously.
However, this decision is completely correct, as UDRP is the wrong venue for Mr. Prince to have used, he needs to go through the court system.
100k in legal fees is alot of money to get his name back‼
Caitlin - BrandBucket says
There really does need to be some serious policies about domain ownership and namesake rights.
Sven Echternach of Frankfurt, Germany: none other than the dev biz director of Megaupload: http://x.co/dzv4