Steve Levy ⬥ 25 March
Sometimes UDRP complaints come along that are obvious attempts at gaining control of a domain name to which the Complainant simply does not have rights. A complaint filed by Adjudicate Today Pty Limited against the domain Adjudicate.org.au, filed with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) against The Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators, is a clear example of this form of over-reaching.
Quite simply, the Complainant attempted to build a case against the Respondent based on mistruths and stretched allegations. First of all, the Complainant stated that its common law rights to the term “Adjudicate Today” should give it rights to the disputed domain name based on it being identical or confusingly similar.
Additionally, the Complainant claims that the site is being used to deliberately mislead customers searching for the Complainant’s services, despite the different names of the organizations. Finally, the Complainant questions the Respondent’s trading company’s status as a non-profit.
When a complaint like this is filed, the Panelist usually breaks down and sifts through the Complainant’s falsities comprehensively, and this case was no exception. The Panelist found that the Complainant failed to satisfy any of the three requirements for domain name transfer, and as a final blow, found the Complainant guilty of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking.
This complaint should be a lesson to brand owners that UDRP complaints are not a quick fix if one does not have a solid case and should not be used merely to gain negotiating leverage. UDRP Panelists have seen it all, and they are very rarely fooled by complaints without merit.
Tags: Adjudicate Today Pty Limited, brand owners, domain names, enforcement, Reverse Domain Name Hijacking, The Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators, UDRP, WIPO, World Intellectual Property Organization