This is a pretty interesting UDRP.
Basically you have the Complainant which has been operating under the the domain name directorschoicetourandtravel.com since 2006 filed for a federal trademark on the term DIRECTOR’S CHOICE around July 15th of this year with the USPTO, which is says its been using “since at least as early as April 1997 used in connection with Complainant’s Services, namely, “arranging travel tours for music organizations; organization of travel”
The domain name directorschoice.com was registered over 14 years ago on March 7, 2000.
The domain holder filed a formal objection with the USPTO asking that the trademark be denied.
The UDRP decision has not been issued.
Instead the domain holder has put all the pleadings online and it presents an interesting inside look at the Complaint and other documents that those not involved in the case usually don’t get to see.
Here is what I can only describe as a simply amazing statement by the Complainant:
“The Domain Name was registered and used in bad faith”
“Respondent registered and is using the Domain Name in bad faith. Specifically, Respondent registered the domain name with the intention of selling it to the trademark holder for a profit and/or to the highest bidder.”
Right so the domain holder registered a domain in 2000 infringing on a still unregistered trademark as we sit at the end of 2014 for the sole purpose of selling it to the trademark holder that still does not hold a trademark.
That statement alone should give rise to a finding of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking.
The statement is not only untrue its impossible.
The Complainant can allege all they want that they were using this trademark in 1997 and has common law rights to it, but it can’t explain why the Complainant registered and has been using a different longer domain name for some 8 years and waited what would have been if you accept 1997 as first use, some 17 years to get around to filing a federal trademark on the term.
The making of such statements should rise the highest and brightest red flag that this is nothing more than an attempted theft of property, nothing more or less than sticking a gun in someone’s face and asking them to hand over their watch.
We will let you know how the case turns out.