Sunday , May 22 2022

Company tries to reverse hijack IndoorBillboard.com

Panel says the company made assertions “that appear to be inaccurate.”

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

A National Arbitration Forum panel has ruled that Indoor Billboard/Northwest, Inc. tried to reverse domain name hijack IndoorBillboard.com in a UDRP.

While the Complainant has a trademark for indoor billboard, it told the panel that it was unaware of anyone else using the “indoor billboard” name to sell stuff with ads on it that are used indoors.

The domain owner easily rebutted that. The Respondent showed evidence that indoor billboard is a generic term. There’s even an industry body called The Indoor Billboard Advertising Association.

The panel was surprised that the Complainant submitted only two paragraphs on the issue of legitimate interest and bad faith. “The Complaint is essentially composed of unsupported assertions and only makes unsubstantiated, bald allegations,” it wrote.

In finding reverse domain name hijacking, the panel wrote:

It is clear to the Panel that Complainant has, despite having the benefit of counsel, pursued its case a) without any supporting evidence in respect of Respondent’s rights/legitimate interest, and b) without any supporting evidence in respect of Respondent’s alleged bad faith, and importantly c) by making assertions that appear to be inaccurate in a way that, unchecked by the Respondent, could have given Complainant an unfair advantage in respect of the outcome of the proceedings.

It appears that the Complainant owns the domain Indoor.com. Despite owning such a great domain, its website doesn’t have an SSL certificate and the copyright date on the site hasn’t been updated since 2015.

Attorney Shawn M. Lindsay of Harris Berne Christensen LLP represented the Complainant. Jason Schaeffer of ESQwire.com, P.C. represented the domain name owner.

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