Its a pretty remarkable decision.
Not only did one of the largest companies in the world, The Procter & Gamble Company of Cincinnati, Ohio (PG) get hit with a finding of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking (RDNH) but the panel found the company misrepresented facts to the panel.
The domain at issue was Swash.com which is owned by Marchex Sales, Inc (MCHX) which was represented as usual by John Berryhill, Ph.d., Esq.
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on November 2, 2012.
The decision was just handed down today, over 5 months later.
Not only did the panel find that P & G was guilty of RDNH but it found that P & G misrepresented material facts to the panel.
““The entire Panel finds it more extraordinary still that in its Complaint the Complainant represented the SWASH brand to be a worldwide brand of longstanding with multi-million dollar sales, stating that over the last 4 years alone the brand had gained sales of over USD 40,000,000.”
“When this was challenged by the Respondent, the Complainant was forced to admit that the brand had only been on the market for 4 years, that sales had been restricted to the USA and that sales over those four years had totaled under USD 60,000.”
Had the Respondent failed to respond, there is a very real risk that the Panel, relying upon the 1993 International registration and the substantial sales volumes claimed for the brand, would have found in favor of the Complainant. This Complaint fell very far short of what the Panel was entitled to expect from a Complainant of this stature.
In all of the circumstances present here, the Panel finds that the Complainant has abused the process in an attempt at reverse domain name hijacking in contravention of the UDRP Rules at paragraph 15(e).”