You can tell by the comments that there is a lot of mixed emotion on this one. I have yet to sort it out myself because of the "Unique facts". But my job here is to simply publish the results and sometimes some commentary. This one I need to think about. I need to examine the facts closely but this is a decision by a 3 member panel and it is supported with their findings and as you will read below the domain was offered at "no charge, with no strings attached" by the owner.
"Complainant is the Honorable Ron Paul of Lake Jackson, Texas, United States of America, represented by LeClairRyan, United States of America." Ron Paul has been found GUILTY of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking. I certainly invite the congressman and/or the domain owner to comment here or even write a guest blog post.
"Respondent has requested, based on the evidence presented, that the Panel make a finding of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking. In view of the unique facts of this case, in which the evidence demonstrates that Respondent offered to give the Domain Name ronpaul.org to Complainant for no charge, with no strings attached, the Panel is inclined to agree. Instead of accepting the Domain Name, Complainant brought this proceeding. A finding of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking seems to this Panel to be appropriate in the circumstances."
So from now on we must ROAST these Reverse Domain Name Hijackers (RDNH). Ah you say but Rick what have you been doing if you are not already roasting them? Well there are some innovative ways we will begin to get the attention of these companies. But we will leave that for another day because this CONTENT is right here and not going away anytime soon.
Try to hijack a domain name and you will be shamed publicly because public opinion is the way to stop bad behavior when the laws out there are not adequate enough to do the job. Each of these companies will receive an increasingly HARSHER post from me because they are not ignorant of what they are doing. In almost every case they KNEW what they were doing and their INTENT was to STEAL using a governing body as their pawns!
The PUBLIC now OWNS the reputation of each of these companies and individuals as well as the attorney's that KNOWINGLY aid and abet because they KNOW BETTER. They are all now BRANDED in the most despicable way and so all the $$$ they spent to familiarize us with their products just got a mighty damaging blow.
Well there have been more findings of Reverse Domain Hijacking in the last 12 months that any preceding 12 month period. So the cat is out of the bag and they can no longer fool panels into being their unknowing accomplice.
So when I get threats, THIS IS WHAT THEY CAN LOOK FORWARD TO
I have 41 such cases so far of RDNH and this resource has 129. Each win will discourage the next would-be hijacker. A tip of the hat to all owners below that fought and a big congrats to the attorney that represented them! I will list any and all cases as I learn of them. In time we hope decisions like these will will make the next IDIOT think twice before they attempt to STEAL something they have no legal or moral rights to. We now OWN YOUR REPUTATION and we will circulate!
And a special tip of the hat to John Berryhill who is the leading RDNH attorney in the world. I am counting and will post how many wins he has recorded on behalf of his clients. I would guess about 1/3 of all decisions. So if you are up against Berryhill or Neu or Goldberger, or Keating or a few others, good luck! You'll need it. Save yourself a great loss and embarrassment and WITHDRAW your case and send the other party their expense money and then get down to this thing we call "Capitalism" and NEGOTIATE!!
Otherwise you get to be labeled what "I" want to label you as and you will be tagged with that DESERVED recognition each and every time a new client does a search to find the good, the bad and the ugly. Want to know which group "Fuckers" will end up in.
And with each conviction I will be a bigger PRICK than the post before UNTIL this crap stops and will begin the tedious job of making REVERSE DOMAIN HIJACKING a CRIMINAL offense as we move forward.
If you are on thin ice, and found out to be GUILTY, you and your company will be listed right here and in all future blog posts and interviews relating to this and I reserve my right to use your attempted theft at every chance I get. Let the PUBLIC decide who is the THIEF! Who is the party found GUILTY of REVERSE DOMAIN NAME HIJACKING! Each case will be included in the book I am writing as well.
The Complainant is G.W.H.C. - Serviços Online Ltda., E-Commerce Media Group Informação e Tecnologia Ltda. of Sao Paulo, Brazil, represented by Almeida Advogados, Brazil. Found guilty of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking
Case #3 CinemaCity.com The Complainant is Prime Pictures LLC of Dubai, United Arab Emirates (“UAE”), represented by Law offices of Vince Ravine, PC, United States of America (“USA”). Reverse Domain Name Hijacker
Case #4 CollectiveMedia.com The Complainant is Collective Media, Inc., New York, United States of America, represented by Lowenstein Sandler PC, United States of America is a Reverse Domain Name Hijacker
Case #7 Mess.com Kiwi Shoe Polish Company, The Complainant is Mess Enterprises, San Francisco, California, of United States of America, represented by Steve Clinton, United States of America is a Reverse Domain Name Hijacker
Case #8 Goldline.com The Complainant is Goldline International, Inc., represented by Spataro & Associates is a Reverse Domain Name Hijacker
Case #12 TrailBlazer.com The Complainant is Trailblazer Learning, Inc. dba Trailblazer, Caledonia, Michigan, United States of America, Self-represented by Brett W. Company COO, Caledonia, Michigan, United States of America is a Reverse Domain Name Hijacker.
Case #13 DreamGirls.com The Complainant is Dreamgirls, Inc., Tampa, Florida, United States of America, represented by Christensen, Miller, Fink, Jacobs, Glaser, Weil & Shapiro, LLP, Los Angeles, California, United States of America and have been labeled a "Reverse Domain Name Hijacker".
Case #14 Mexico.com The Complainant is Consejo de Promoción Turística de México, S.A. de C.V., Colonia Anzures, Mexico, represented by Bello, Guzmán, Morales Y Tsuru, S.C., Mexico is a Reverse Domain Name Hijacker
Case #15 Windsor.com Complainant in this administrative proceeding is Windsor Fashions, Inc., a California corporation with a principal place of business in Los Angeles, California, United States of America. Complainant is represented in this proceeding by Abraham M. Rudy, Esq. and Julie Waldman, Esq., Weisman, Wolff, Bergman, Coleman, Grodin & Evall LLP, Beverly Hills, California, United States of America. They have been labeled a "Reverse Domain Name Hijacker".
Case #16 Mindo.com Complainants are Scandinavian Leadership AB and Mindo AB of Uppsala, Sweden, internally represented. They have been labeled a "Reverse Domain Name Hijacker".
Case # 17 and Sha.com he Complainant is Albir Hills Resort, S.A. of Alfaz del Pi Alicante, Spain, represented by PADIMA, Abogados y Agentes de Propiedad Industrial, S.L., Spain. They have been labeled a "Reverse Domain Name Hijacker".
Case # 18 etatil.com The Complainants are ÖZALTUN OTELCİLİK TURİZM VE TİCARET LTD. ŞTİ. of Istanbul, Turkey, Allstar Hotels LLC of New York, Unites States of America and Mr. Metin ALTUN of Istanbul, Turkey, represented by Istanbul Patent & Trademark Consultancy Ltd., Turkey. They have been labeled a "Reverse Domain Name Hijacker".
Case # 19 Takeout.com. Complainant is Tarheel Take-Out, LLC of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States of America (“U.S.”), represented internally. They have been labeled a "Reverse Domain Name Hijacker".
Case # 20 WallStreet.com The Complainant is Wall-Street.com, LLC of Florida, United States of America (the “United States” or “US”), represented by Flint IP Law, United States. They have been labeled a "Reverse Domain Name Hijacker".
Case # 21 parvi.org found for the complainant in 2009 but in 2012 the courts rules that theCity of Paris, France was guilty of "Reverse Domain Name Hijacking" in a landmark case that resulted in a $125,000 judgement against the city.
Case #22 Gtms.com The Complainant is Sustainable Forestry Management Limited, a company incorporated under the laws of Bermuda, with its principal place of business in London, United Kingdom. The Complainant is represented by its general counsel, Mr. Eric Bettelheim. They have been labeled a "Reverse Domain Name Hijacker".
Case #23 PetExpress.com The Complaintant is Airpet Animal Transport, Inc. represented by Mark W. Good of Terra Law LLP, California, USA. They have been labeled a "Reverse Domain Name Hijacker"
Case #25 Unive.com Complainant is Coöperatie Univé U.A. of Arnhem, Netherlands, represented by Novagraaf Nederland B.V., Netherlands. "Given the circumstances, the Panel finds that the Complaint was brought in bad faith, in an attempt at Reverse Domain Name Hijacking, and constitutes an abuse of the administrative proceeding"
Case #26 eCase.com AINS, INC. (“Complainant”), represented by Janice W. Housey of Symbus Law Group, LLC, Virginia, USA. The panel concludes that the Complaint was brought in bad faith in an attempt at Reverse Domain Name Hijacking.
Case #27 TinyPrint.com Complainant is Tiny Prints, Inc. (“Complainant”), represented by CitizenHawk, Inc., California, USA "Complaint was brought in bad faith and that, accordingly, Complainant has attempted to engage in Reverse Domain Name Hijacking"
Case #28 Enki.com Complainant is Enki LLC (“Complainant”), represented by Eric A. Novikoff, of California, USA. "This is a frivolous proceeding which should never have been filed by Complainant. Accordingly, the Panel finds that Complainant is guilty of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking"
Case #29 SFM.com Complainant is State Fund Mutual Insurance Co. represented by Peter G. Nikolai, of Nikolai & Mersereau, P.A., Minnesota, USA The Panel finds "Complainant has engaged in Reverse Domain Name Hijacking."
"It is impossible to believe that the Complainant, who employs ultra-sophisticated marketing methods, was not aware that the disputed domain name, <swash.com>, had been registered and used by other entities for some years when the Complainant introduced its SWASH product line in 2009.
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). The Panel majority also finds the Complainant has attempted reverse domain name hijacking because it must have known that the Respondent did not know of (nor had any reason to be aware of) any relevant trade mark rights in the SWASH name when the Respondent registered the disputed domain name in 2004."
Case #31 3dCafe.com Complainant is 3DCafe, Inc. (“Complainant”), represented by Danielle I. Mattessich of Merchant & Gould, P.C., Minnesota, USA. The panel finds "Complainant acted in bad faith. The Panel therefore makes a finding of reverse domain name hijacking."
Case #32 xPand.com The Complainant is X6D Limited of Limassol, Cyprus, represented by Bracewell & Giuliani LLP, United States of America. "The Panel therefore accepts the Respondent’s allegation that the Complainant is using the UDRP as an alternative purchase strategy after the acquisition of the disputed domain name failed. Therefore, the Panel finds that the Complaint was brought in bad faith, in an attempt of reverse domain name hijacking: The Complainant knew or should have known at the time it filed the Complaint that it could not prove that the domain name was registered in bad faith."
D. Reverse Domain Name Hijacking
Paragraph 1 of the Rules defines Reverse Domain Name Hijacking:
“Reverse Domain Name Hijacking means using the Policy in bad faith to attempt to deprive a registered domain-name holder of a domain name.”
The general conditions for a finding of bad faith on the part of a complainant are well stated in Smart Design LLC v. Carolyn Hughes, WIPO Case No. D2000-0993 (October 18, 2000):
“Clearly, the launching of an unjustifiable Complaint with malice aforethought qualifies, as would the pursuit of a Complaint after the Complainant knew it to be insupportable.”
These conditions are confirmed in Goldline International, Inc. v. Gold Line, WIPO Case No. D2000-1151 (January 4, 2001) and Sydney Opera House Trust v. Trilynx Pty. Limited, WIPO Case No. D2000-1224 (October 31, 2000) (where the condition is stated as “the respondent must show knowledge on the part of the complainant of the respondent’s right or legitimate interest in the disputed domain name and evidence of harassment or similar conduct by the complainant in the face of such knowledge”), which in turn cites Plan Express Inc. v. Plan Express, WIPO Case No. D2000-0565 (July 17, 2000).
The Complainant knew when it filed the Complaint that the registration of the disputed domain name preceded by several years any rights that the Complainant may have acquired in the mark WEB PASS. Indeed, the Complainant annexes a printout of the WhoIs registration to the Complaint, and that printout indicates that the domain name was created well before the Complainant’s first use in commerce of its mark. In this Panel’s view, this is sufficient to find reverse domain name hijacking. See NetDeposit, Inc. v. NetDeposit.com, WIPO Case No.D2003-0365 (July 22, 2003) (finding reverse domain name hijacking because “Respondent's domain name registration preceded the Complainant's creation of its trademark rights”).
The Panel finds that the Complainant has attempted Reverse Domain Name Hijacking.
The panel finds that Complainant has failed to present any evidence to support its claimed rights in the disputed domain name. It only provided an application for trademark registration which does not establish any enforceable rights under the UDRP. It did not offer any evidence to support a finding of common law rights in the disputed mark. Also, the Panel finds that Complainant knew or should have known that it was unable to prove that Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name or that Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith. Based on the foregoing, the panel finds that reverse domain name hijacking has occurred.
See NetDepositVerkaik v. Crownonlinemedia.com, D2001-1502 (WIPO Mar. 19, 2002) (“To establish reverse domain name hijacking, Respondent must show knowledge on the part of the complainant of the Respondent’s right or legitimate interest in the Domain Name and evidence of harassment or similar conduct by the Complainant in the fact of such knowledge.”); see also Labrada Bodybuilding Nutrition, Inc. v. Glisson, FA 250232 (Nat. Arb. Forum May 28, 2004) (finding that complainant engaged in reverse domain name hijacking where it used “the Policy as a tool to simply wrest the disputed domain name in spite of its knowledge that the Complainant was not entitled to that name and hence had no colorable claim under the Policy”).
Having failed to establish all three elements required under the ICANN Policy, the Panel concludes that relief shall be DENIED. The Panel further finds that Complainant engaged in Reverse Domain Name Hijacking."
Case #35 adjudicate.org.au The Complainant is Adjudicate Today Pty Limited of Mona Vale, New South Wales, Australia represented by Moray & Agnew, Australia. The domain, adjudicate.org.au. Futureworld Consultancy (Pty) Limited v. Online Advice, WIPO Case No. D2003-0297 states that a finding of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking may be made if the Complainant “knew or should have known at the time it filed the Complaint that it could not prove that the domain name was registered or used in bad faith”. Given that the Complainant would have been aware that the Respondent had a more than negligible adjudication business in Australia at the time the Complaint was filed, the Panel is of the opinion that the Complainant knew or should have known that it could not prove that the disputed domain name was registered in bad faith. Therefore, the Panel finds that this is an instance of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking.
Case #36 Joopa.com Complainant is Edward Smith (“Complainant”), represented by Kuscha Abhyanker of Raj Abhyanker P.C., California, USA. “the Complainant filed its trademark application shortly after it was unable to acquire the Disputed Domain Name from the Respondent on acceptable terms. "The panel finds that failing in this effort, the Complainant undertook to use the Policy to acquire the Disputed Domain Name.” “The panel finds that the Complaint has attempted reverse domain name hijacking in violation of the Rules.”
Case #37 PoliceAuction.com Complainant is Vortal Group, Inc. (“Complainant”), represented by Roger N. Behle Jr., of Behle Law Corporation, 575 Anton Boulevard, Suite 710, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. "Moreover, the Panel finds that filing a UDRP proceeding - which on its face can be qualified as frivolous - without any basis to do so should be construed in the present case as harassing. Here, Complainant admitted it knew that the domain name was registered prior to its using the at-issue mark in commerce. When, as in the present case, Complainant is unable to show trademark rights through use or otherwise which predate registration of the at-issue domain name, then it becomes impossible for it to prevail. In the case before the Panel, there is no way that Complainant could have reasonably expected to prevail and its counsel should have known better." Vortal Group, Inc. is a convicted Reverse Domain Name Hijacker and "counsel should have known better"
Case #38 Opulence.com Complainant is Horizon Publishing, LLC (“Complainant”), represented by Marc J. Kesten of Marc J. Kesten, P.L., Florida, USA.
Horizon Publishing, LLC of Fort Lauderdale, Florida is the latest to be labeled a REVERSE DOMAIN NAME HIJACKER by the governing body.
Case #39 Avayo.net Complainant is Avaya Inc. (“Complainant”), represented by Joseph Englander of Shutts & Bowen LLP, Florida, USA. “The Respondent correctly notes that the Complainant has previously filed domain name cases, and lost in two of such cases when it brought proceedings against legitimate businesses such as the Respondent. See Avaya Inc. v. Sudhir Sazena, FA 1229266 (Nat. Arb. Forum Dec. 9, 2008); and Avaya Inc. v. Moayyad Hamad, FA 1456063 (Nat. Arb. Forum Sept. 14, 2012). ” “Consequently, the Panel finds that the Complaint was submitted in an attempt to hijack Respondent’s domain name” Avaya Inc. is a convicted Reverse Domain Name Hijacker
Case #40 hivinnocencegrouptruth.com and hivinnocenceprojecttruth.com. Office of Medical & Scientific Justice, Inc. represented by Matthew H. Swyers of The Trademark Company, LLC, Virginia, USA. was found guilty of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking (RDNH) in attempted theft of the domain names.
Case #41 Complainant is the Honorable Ron Paul of Lake Jackson, Texas, United States of America, represented by LeClairRyan, United States of America." Ron Paul has been found GUILTY of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking. I certainly invite the congressman and/or the domain owner to comment here or even write a guest blog post.
My hope is this is the last RDNH case I will ever have to post. The reality is this post will be re-posted EVERY SINGLE TIME there is a case of RDNH. Every time and now maybe some value based companies will think twice before flirting with this tactic and come to the bargaining table un good faith instead of being labeled forever with bad faith. The net is written in INK!
THOU SHALT NOT STEAL! Stop trying to steal and start doing BUSINESS! Feel free to repost FAR and WIDE!