Wednesday , August 17 2022

Why didn’t this UDRP panel consider reverse domain name hijacking?

The Respondent classified this as a Plan B case, but the panel didn’t consider it.

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

A three-person World Intellectual Property Organization panel denied a UDRP filing against veho.com. I’m puzzled as to why it didn’t consider reverse domain name hijacking in the case.

Veho Oy Ab, a Finnish vehicle importer, filed the case against Orion Global Assets. Here’s a summary of Veho’s previous attempts to acquire the domain:

In 2014, the Complainant’s counsel attempted to purchase the disputed domain name. Negotiations with the Respondent’s broker ended in October 2015. In March 2016, the Complainant’s counsel made another attempt to purchase the disputed domain name, offering USD 25,000. In August 2016, the Respondent’s broker countered with USD 250,000. There were subsequent communications from the Respondent’s broker in relation to the possible sale and purchase of the disputed domain name. In September 2021, the Complainant engaged a broker, and offered USD 50,000 for the disputed domain name. The offer was rejected. The Complainant followed up with an offer of USD 75,000, which was also rejected.

The Respondent’s counsel, John Berryhill, noted that this was a “Plan B” attempt to acquire the domain. Plan B is the name for reverse domain name hijacking when a company files a UDRP because it can’t buy a domain for the price it wants.

While the panel found in favor of the domain owner, there’s no discussion about reverse domain name hijacking. Perhaps the panel felt it wasn’t warranted in this case, but it should have examined the issue.

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