Thursday , August 11 2022

Reboxed Limited attempts reverse domain name hijacking

UK mobile phone site went after domain registered before it existed.

A picture of a man's face with an eye cover coming out of a laptop screen with the words "reverse domain name hijacking"

A UK firm has been found (pdf) to have attempted to reverse domain name hijack the domain name reboxed.com.

Reboxed Limited offers a marketplace for buying and selling used mobile phones at Reboxed.co. Before founding the company in 2019, Reboxed’s founders attempted to buy Reboxed.com from the current owner, who acquired the domain name in 2012. Given the timeline, a cybersquatting dispute under UDRP was doomed to fail.

Nevertheless, Reboxed filed a UDRP with the assistance of the law firm Sheridans.

The panel found that Reboxed did not show that the domain was registered and used in bad faith because Respondent could not have known that a firm would pop up many years later to use the mark.

It also found reverse domain name hijacking. This is the second reverse domain name hijacking win for attorney John Berryhill in two days. The three-person World Intellectual Property Organization panel wrote:

…The Complainant in this case is legally represented and, in view particularly of that factor, the Panel considers that the Complainant knew or ought to have known that the Complaint had no reasonable prospect of success.  The Panel agrees with the Respondent’s contention that this is a “Plan B case”, in which the Complainant, having failed to purchase the disputed domain name by means of a commercial negotiation, has turned to the UDRP in an improper attempt to deprive the Respondent of it…

The dispute appears to have gotten a bit testy. The Complainant’s lawyer was apparently offended by Berryhill’s response on the case, calling it “unprofessional” and defamatory to the lawyer and its client. Berryhill wrote about it on twitter.

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