Thursday , August 11 2022

Real estate optimization firm guilty of reverse domain name hijacking

It could have bought the domain for only $6,095.

the words "reverse domain name hijacking" in pale yellow type on a black background, next to a graphic of a pirate face

A World Intellectual Property Organization panel has found Bookker Corporate S.L.U and The Graffter SL tried reverse domain name hijacking bookker.com.

The companies provide tools to optimize corporate office and parking spaces and operate at bookkercorp.com.

HugeDomains acquired the domain in 2014, before the first Complainant existed and before any evidence that the Complainants had trademark rights in the term bookker. The Complainant inquired about buying the domain and was told it was $6,095.

Instead of paying this price, the Complainant paid for a WIPO panel and a lawyer to file a case, which probably cost somewhere close to that amount. And then it lost. And was found guilty of reverse domain name hijacking. So now it’s out its fees and still doesn’t have the domain. I would imagine the price of the domain will go up now that HugeDomains had to pay to defend it.

In finding reverse domain name hijacking, the three-person panel wrote:

…Nobody knows better than the Complainants that they do not have earlier rights than the Respondent – and yet, this is what they stated in the Complaint, and certified their statements under Rules, Paragraph 3(b)(xiv). The Panel regards this conduct of the Complainant as an attempt to mislead it. The only logical conclusion from the fact that the Respondent could not have known of the non-existent business of the Complainants at the time of registration of the disputed domain name is that it has not registered it in bad faith. The Complainants must have appreciated this, but nevertheless, they proceeded with the Complaint after an unsuccessful attempt to acquire the disputed domain name from the Respondent, without a plausible legal basis, and basing it on only the barest of allegations without any supporting evidence. In addition, this is another example of a “Plan B” scenario where the Complainants only filed this case after attempting to negotiate the price of the domain name. The UDRP should not be considered a back-up plan to go after Registrants after unsuccessfully trying to negotiate the price of a domain name. This is especially egregious given the fact that the Complainants’ rights did not accrue until well after the disputed domain name was registered.

Margareto IP represented the Complainants. ESQwire.com PC represented HugeDomains.

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