A one member UDRP panel has ordered the return of a purportedly stolen domain name, Teenee.com
The UDRP was decided by the Asian Domain Name Dispute Resolution Centre.
UDRP panels in the past generally have refused to transfer purposed stolen domain names finding the UDRP is the wrong process to return such a domain.
However this panel noting that the domain name was owned by the Complainant since 2001 until it was transferred without its authorized in September 2013; The Complainant has filed a criminal complaint with the Royal Thai Police against the Respondent for the illegal transfer of the domain name to the Respondent.
The disputed domain name was originally registered by an authorized director of the Complainant for it to be used by the Complainant in its business. It has achieved success and the website to which it resolved prior to its transfer to the Respondent has acquired a substantial reputation because of the valuable services it provides, achieving up to 3 million page hits per day.
Whoever was responsible for the transfer of the registration to the Respondent was able to convince the then registrar to do so, but the Complainant never consented to that transfer taking place.
After the transfer took place the Respondent tried to blackmail the Complainant to have the domain name transferred back to the Complainant.
The Respondent has tried to sell the domain name back to the Complainant for the equivalent of $91,000 and has threatened the Complainant that if it will not do so, the Respondent will re-direct the domain name and reveal confidential information about the Complainant.
The panel found that “It is clear from the evidence that the Respondent has acted dishonestly, had no right to acquire the domain name and that, having acquired it dishonestly, has now set about trying to extract money from the Complainant illegally for returning its own property. Not only is it clear from the evidence that this was and apparently still is the Respondent’s plan, but she has brazenly admitted and asserted it in emails she wrote to the Complainant which are annexed to the Complaint and which are clear attempts at extortion. She has demanded the equivalent of USD 91,000 from the Complainant and threatened that if the Complainant does not co-operate she will re-direct the domain name elsewhere, reveal confidential information about the Complainant and unleash some “unpleasant surprises”. The clear intention of that attempted extortion shows that the Respondent’s primary purpose in acquiring the domain name was to obtain from the Complainant “valuable consideration in excess of Respondent’s documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the disputed domain name.”