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Dot Org in the news. As most us know, dot org domain extensions were mainly for non profit organizations. The domain name org is a generic top-level domain (gTLD) of the Domain Name System (DNS) used in the Internet. The name is truncated from organization. It was one of the original domains established in 1985, and has been operated by the Public Interest Registry since 2003. The domain was originally intended for non-profit entities, but this restriction was removed in August 2019. The domain is commonly used by schools, open-source projects, and communities, but also by some for-profit entities. The number of registered domains in org has increased from fewer than one million in the 1990s, to ten million in 2012, and held steady between ten and eleven million since then.
In November 2019, the Public Interest Registry (PIR) was sold by its initial owner, the Internet Society, to shell company Ethos Capital for US$1.135 billion. The PIR also announced it would abandon its non-profit status to become a B Corporation. However it is not clear if the sale actually went through, as it seems Ethos Capital, the company t is still trying to acquire the .Org registry, so what happened in the short space of time?
Name Theft & Reverse Domain Name Hijacking?
your thinking how would someone go about stealing a domain name?
Reverse Domain Name Hickacking occurs its when an individual or
company steals the domain name from the rightful and legal owner
accusing the owner of trademark infringement and or bad faith or
other excuses to get the name under false pretences. With Domain
names being a lucrative online real estate business scammers will go
to great lengths to steal domain names that have high value.
Domain Name Hijacking is a serious social crime which can lead to
permanent and irreparable damage
to the company that accuses a domain owner without substansial
evidence. Its bad for business having a reputation of Reverse Domain
abuse the system by fabricating evidence in which a 3rd
party has to make a ruling, as in the case of ‘Procter & Gamble’,
Domain Name Hijacking
Respondent has requested that the Panel issue a finding of abuse of
this UDRP proceeding or “reverse domain name hijacking” per the
UDRP Rules at paragraph 15(e). The Panel notes that panels do not
usually issue such a finding in a case where a complainant has
prevailed with respect to two (in the present case not unanimously)
of the three elements required under the Policy. See, for example,
National Trust for Historic Preservation v. Barry Preston, WIPO Case
No. D2005-0424 (“Inasmuch as the Panel has found that the
Complainant has incontestable rights in its HISTORIC HOTELS OF
AMERICA mark, and that the disputed domain name is confusingly
similar to that mark, the Panel finds the Respondent’s claim of
reverse domain name hijacking unpersuasive.”); Globosat
Programadora Ltda. v. J. Almeida, WIPO Case No. D2005-0199; and
Interep National Radio Sales, Inc. v. Internet Domain Names, Inc.,
WIPO Case No. D2000-0174.
the Panel does not believe that the present Case represents a normal
circumstance. The Panel notes that the Complainant, The Procter &
Gamble Company, is a premier marketer and advertiser of consumer
products in the United States of America and in many other countries.
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.
Complainant and its legal counsel are not strangers to the UDRP
process. See, P&G Prestige Products, Inc. v. Ryogo Sugai, WIPO
Case No. D2009-1098; The Procter & Gamble Company v. Richard
Jones, NAF Claim No. 1266787; The Procter & Gamble Company v.
William Vaughan, River Cruise Investments Ltd., WIPO Case No.
D2008-1164; The Procter & Gamble Company, P&G Hair Care, LLC
v. Domain Admin, WIPO Case No. D2007-1040; Procter & Gamble
Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Johnny Carpela, NAF Claim No. 625591; The
Procter & Gamble Company v. Hong Gil Dong, NAF Claim No. 572962;
et cetera. Therefore, the Panel (by a majority) concludes that the
Complainant must have known that, once the relevant facts of this
case were uncovered, a UDRP panel could not possibly find that the
disputed domain name was registered in bad faith. To have filed the
Complaint at this relatively late date – more than eleven years
after the registration of the disputed domain name and several years
after its acquisition by the Respondent –seems a grotesquely unfair
attempt to wrest ownership of the disputed domain name from the
owner. See, Proto Software, Inc. v. Vertical Axis, Inc/PROTO.COM,
WIPO Case No. D2006-0905 (“The Panel considers that the Complainant
is represented by Counsel who even on a rudimentary examination of
the Policy and its application in this area should have appreciated
that the Complaint could not succeed where the Respondent’s domain
name had been registered three years prior to filing a trademark
application or actual use of the mark.”); and carsales.com.au
Limited v. Alton L. Flanders, WIPO Case No. D2004-0047 (“In the
Panel’s view a finding of reverse domain name hijacking is
warranted if the Complainant knew or should have known at the time it
filed the Complaint that it could not prove one of the essential
elements required by the Policy.”)
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 underUSD 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.
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.
completeness, the Panel acknowledges the Respondent’s contention as
to the Complainant’s true motivation behind this administrative
proceeding (see paragraph 5D above), but does not regard it as
necessary or appropriate that it should address the point.
the foregoing reasons, the Complaint is denied. The Panel also makes
a finding of reverse domain name hijacking against the Complainant.
The following examples of Famous Companies Reverse Hijacking come
from a blog which a famous semi retired Domainer hosts an entirety of
The list is as follows:
These cases are a way to 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 – Rick Schwartz Domain King.
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.
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
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
Goldline.com The Complainant is Goldline International, Inc.,
represented by Spataro & Associates is a Reverse Domain Name
Case #12 TrailBlazer.com Trailblazer Learning, Inc. represented by COO Brett W, Caledonia, Michigan 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
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’.
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 # 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.
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’.
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 #24 ColdFront.com Complainant isPersonally Cool Inc. (“Complainant”), New York, 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
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.’
Case #30 Swash.com Complainant Procter and Gamble Represented by Keating Muething & Klekamp PLL. Procter and Gamble is a Reverse Domain Name Hijacker
‘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 underUSD 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.’
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.’
Webpass.com The Complainant is Webpass, Inc. of San Francisco,
California, United States of America represented by Law Office of
Richard J. Greenstone, United States of America.
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.
Case #34 BSA.com Complainant is Bin Shabib & Associates (BSA) LLP (“Complainant”), represented by Jimmy Haoula, United Arab Emirates.
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.
SeeNetDepositVerkaik 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 alsoLabrada 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.’
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!
you startout in business you want to be original, but you have to do
your due diligence and research if your brand has not been used by
someone else. When you have desided what name to use its always a
good idea to trademark your brand, name & logo or even a product,
slogan or symbol. The definition of a trademark can mean a protected
name, word, slogan, design, symbol or other unique device that
identifies a product or company.
The definition for copyright
is to stop an individual or company copying your photograph or text,
music that falls under copyright laws where you as the owner of the
material has to prove you were the one that wrote the music or
content text or took the photograph.
The definition of Patent
Law is stopping someone claiming rights to your invention.
order to trademark your brand you must first register it with a
Govering Body and it may take anything between 6 and 18 months to be
registering your trade mark you have to decide if you want it trade
marked globally. If you register in the UK you are not protected
globally, you are only protecting yourself in the UK where you have
applied for the trademark.
European Union, now has a Community Trade Mark (CTM) which covers the
mark in all EU countries. The same goes if you live in the UK but you
do not want the USA to use your brand name you have to also register
your trademark in the USA and any other subsequent countries.
trademark you brand in bulk there is also the Madrid System that
provides a facility to submit trademarks applications to many
countries at the same time.
cannot use trademark symbols without registering your brand first
this is illegal to do. Registered trademarks may be signified by the
abbreviation ‘TM’, or the ‘®’ symbol.
can also patent your brand but this is more for invetions rather than
for trademarks although in most countries, the national patent office
will in most cases also administer trademarks. But the best way to go
is to contact your Government for application.
to all Government websites can be found here:
the Domain Industry Domain Investors who buy up the domains in future
may have a problem if they later on find out someone has trade marked
their name making their domains worthless. But this is where you
would have to argue what came first the chicken or the egg…
definition of UDRPs is the short name for Uniform Domain Name Dispute
Resolution Policy, where by you have registered or you have acquired
the domain name simply for the purpose of selling, renting, to the
complainant who is the owner of the trademark or service mark of a
brand name for a hign value. In other words cybersquatting.
is a link to a documentation where the Domain Investor ‘Rick
Schwartz’ got himself into a bit of a trouble.
can happen to the best of us, but in order to avoid such problems do
your due diligence and research that no one else is using the name
and that it does not have the letter (R) or (TM) next to it.
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