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Rufino.com UDRP: Parking is “Passive?”

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I want to share an excerpt from a concerning UDRP decision involving the Rufino.com domain name. The UDRP was filed at the National Arbitration Forum (NAF) by Constellation Brands, Inc. (which owns a subsidiary called Ruffino). The three-person panel ruled in favor of the complainant in this UDRP, and the domain name will be transferred unless the domain owner opts to litigate.

What stood out to me in the decision is the section covering Rights or Legitimate Interests in the domain name. From what I am reading, it looks like the complainant argues that domain name parking is passive usage of the domain name, and it seems like the panel agreed with that. Here are the two paragraphs that concern me most (via UDRPSearch.com):

"Complainant asserts that the parked resolving website is evidence that Respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests in the mark. Parking a website continuously is considered a passive use under the policy and is evidence of a lack of legitimate interests in the domain name. See Herbalife Int'l, Inc. v. → Read More


UDRP Filed Against PayPals.com “Gripe Site”

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A UDRP was filed against the PayPals.com domain name at the National Arbitration Forum (NAF). The UDRP is case #1740061, and because it was filed at the NAF, I can only assume that the UDRP was filed by PayPal since the complainant is not revealed until the decision is published. Once the decision is published, we will know for certain who filed this UDRP.

Judging solely by the name PayPals.com and not looking at how the domain name is being used, one might assume PayPal would have a strong case. PayPal owns quite a few trademarks, and one might look at this and say it should be a win for PayPal. As with many legal situations, there seems to be much more to this story, and I do not think this will be a cut and dry case (assuming PayPal is the complainant).

PayPals.com was created in 2003. According to DomainTools, back then, the domain name was owned by the late Igal Lichtman, whose company is called Mrs Jello, LLC. Another DomainTools Whois History tool search shows that the domain name appears to have been acquired by the → Read More


Apple Owned Lala.com Subject of UDRP

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It's not every day that a domain name owned by a major corporation becomes the subject of a UDRP filing. According to the World Intellectual Property Organization, a UDRP was filed against LALA.com (Lala.com or LaLa.com). The UDRP is WIPO Case D2017-1351.

When I did a Whois search on this seemingly generic (and certainly valuable) domain name, I did a doubletake. LaLa.com is owned by Apple. Yes, the Apple Inc. from Cupertino, California. Apple is one of the world's largest companies, and it certainly has a legal department that can defend its right to own this domain name.

If you visit LaLa.com, the domain name doesn't seem to resolve, although nameserver records show that the domain name has Apple.com nameservers. LaLa.com was created in January of 1996, making it over 21 years old. Apple acquired Lala.com when it acquired a music service called Lala, and Cult of Mac has the interesting story about its acquisition.

Even without the history of the Lala brand that Apple acquired, Lala.com is a valuable domain name in its → Read More


Is Houzz Going After HOUZ.com?

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A UDRP was filed against the HOUZ.com domain name at the National Arbitration Forum (NAF). The UDRP case # is  1739475, and it can be tracked via UDRPSearch.com.

Because the UDRP was filed at NAF, the name of the complainant is not known at this time and will not be made public until the UDRP is decided. My guess is that the UDRP may have been filed by Houzz, the home improvement and home fashions website. According to the Houzz LinkedIn profile page, the company was founded in 2009. Again, this is just a guess since there are a few other possibilities (including HOUZ International B.V., Drink Houz, Houz AS, ART HOUZ, and quite a few other entities that use "Houz" in their branding).

HOUZ.com was created back in 2003. The oldest historical Whois entry at DomainTools I can see is from 2007, and it is owned by a Las Vegas-based entity with the last name Doumanian. The current registrant has the same last name as the registrant from 2007, so I would not be surprised if the domain name has been owned by the same or a related → Read More


ICA Successfully Advocates to Discredit the Dangerous Retroactive Bad Faith Theory Under the UDRP

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Let's say you register a domain name today. You've done your due diligence, and you see there aren't any companies that use the keyword(s) in your domain name as a trademark or for their brand name. A few years from now, some company launches with its brand matching your domain name.

The company now wants your matching domain name, but they don't want to pay you for it – they want to take it from you. Until recently the company could file a UDRP complaint seeking the transfer of your domain and reasonably hope to succeed in being awarded your domain by the UDRP panel. The company would rely on a fringe interpretation of the UDRP known as "Retroactive Bad Faith" (RBF) that some panelists used to justify the transfer of long registered domain names to owners of trademark rights that arose since the domain was registered.

RBF had been cited in a number of UDRPs. One particular case that stands out is the UDRP for Camilla.com. Here's what Andrew Allemann wrote about that UDRP decision, which ended in a transfer ruling in favor of → Read More


Everphone.com UDRP: Despite Front Running, Domain Registrant Prevails

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Front running is the act of attempting to sell a domain name that is not owned by the person who is making the sale attempt. Unfortunately, front running has become more common, and I wrote about front running during NameJet auctions  a few years ago. There was an interesting UDRP decision that domain auction participants will want to note because front running almost cost the domain registrant a domain name.

A company called Everphone GmbH filed a UDRP to get the Everphone.com domain name. This domain name sold on NameJet for $842 in January of this year, according to NameBio. According to the complainant in this UDRP, it seems that two entities contacted the complainant either during or prior to the auction claiming to be willing to sell this domain name. Because the complainant had been dealing with entities that seem to have been front running this domain name, the auction winner and current registrant was not aware of these other emails when the complainant approached him about selling the domain name.

In the UDRP → Read More


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