Recent Case Notes & Commentary

BAD FAITH: Offer by Complainant to Buy Domain Name is Not Bad Faith by Respondent

LiveOne Group, Ltd. v. Kim KwangPyo / MediaBlue Inc. NAF; Claim Number: FA1210001467218; (Dec. 10, 2012).


It is sometimes said that the very fact that a Respondent/ registrant of a domain name engaged in discussions to sell a domain name is evidence by itself of bad faith on its part. This has always been a dubious proposition, as paragraph 4(a) (iii) requires that there has been an act of bad faith by the Respondent. It would seem on general principles that the Respondent would have had to initiate the discussions before it could be said that this showed bad faith on its part. That view has been supported in this recent decision.[1]


In this case, the Respondent replied to an inquiry from the Complainant and entered into discussions on a possible price for the domain name. The Panel held that this was not an act of bad faith by the Respondent.


The Panel said:

“When a complainant indicates a willingness to engage in a market transaction for a disputed domain name, it does not violate the policy for the respondent to offer to sell for a market price, rather than for only out of pocket expenses. See Puky GmbH v. Agnello, D2001-1345 (WIPO Jan. 3, 2002) (finding insufficient evidence to hold that the domain name was registered and used in bad faith pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(b) (i) where the complainant initiated contact with the respondent and the respondent responded with an offer to sell its domain name registration for $50,000); see also Coca-Cola Co. v. Svensson, FA0 103933 (Nat. Arb. Forum Feb. 27, 2002) (finding that the respondent was not acting in bad faith when it engaged in discussions to sell its domain name registration to the complainant after the complainant initiated the discussion). The Panel finds this sufficient and finds no bad faith pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(b) (i).“


It will be a different case, of course, where the Respondent initiates the discussion or makes a definite and unsolicited offer to sell.




[1] The editor was a member of the Panel.