Recent Case Notes & Commentary

Reverse Domain Name Hijacking - Without Requesting It

It is interesting that there has been another finding by a UDRP panel of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking , although the Respondent did not apply for it. We have said in the past that the way the UDRP and the Rules are drawn does not require a specific application to be made for Reverse Domain Name Hijacking before a Panel may proceed and make such a finding and we have pointed to at least one decided case where that view was applied. Now there has been another decision where a RDNH finding has been made without such a request being made. The decision is Meta Quotes Software Corp v Name Administration Inc. (BVI) WIPO Case No. D2012 - 1475.


The case concerned the domain name metatrader.com.


The panel set out its views as follows:

“It appears from the Response that when the Complaint in this case was filed (nine years after the registration of the disputed domain name), the Complainant was clearly aware that the Respondent had registered the disputed domain name well before the Complainant had acquired any trademark rights. That fact was expressly drawn to the Complainant’s attention in correspondence between the parties three years ago. Moreover, the Complainant has failed to point to anything that would suggest that any reputation attaching to its mark at the date of registration of the disputed domain name was likely to have been known to the Respondent at that time. It appears to the Panel as if the Complainant persisted in filing these proceedings without regard to these factors, or to its likelihood of success in the case, and in spite of its past interactions with the Respondent. In these circumstances the current Policy proceedings as commenced by the Complainant appear to be little more than a blatant attempt to obtain the disputed domain name at any cost. In addition the Panel notes that the Complainant failed to disclose in the Complaint its pre-Complaint correspondence with the Respondent and did not deny its existence in its supplementary submission, which omission does nothing to reinforce its bona fides.


It appears to the Panel that the Complainant must have known when it filed the Complaint that in these circumstances there was no reasonable chance of success and that it was putting the Respondent to unjustifiable trouble and expense in defending these proceedings.


Taking all this into account, and notwithstanding the fact that the Respondent has not sought such a finding, the Panel declares that the Complaint was brought in bad faith and constitutes an abuse of the administrative proceeding.”


WHAT NEXT?

It seems now reasonable clear that a finding for RDNH may be made although it has not been requested.The other question that still remains is whether a UDRP panel is required to consider RDNH even if no application for RDNH has been made.i.e.whether the Policy and the Rules mean that a panel must in all cases consider RDNH and, if a case for it is made out in the opinion of the Panel, the Panel must make the finding, even if not requested.

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