GWG.com Subject of UDRP (Updated)
A UDRP has been filed against the valuable GWG.com domain name at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The UDRP is WIPO Case D2016-1420. The complainant in this UDRP proceeding is listed as GWG Holdings, Inc.
GWG.com is registered to an entity in Canada, and the domain name has a creation date of March 24, 1997. The earliest DomainTools Historical Whois record is from 2003, and it appears that the same entity that owned it at that point still owns this domain name. It is very possible that the registrant is the same as it was pre-2003, but DomainTools does not have archived historical records for this domain name earlier than 2003.
At the present time, GWG.com does not resolve for me. Archive.org shows the last use of the domain name was back in 2009, and the most recent screenshot from Screenshots.com is from 2007. At that time, the heading on the website was “General Web Group.” Estibot lists the value of GWG.com at $96,000, and it is quite obvious that GWG.com is a valuable domain name.
I did a Google search for the name of the complainant, and the first result I saw is a company that operates on GWGLife.com. The LinkedIn button on the top of that homepage links to a company with the name of the complainant in this case, so my assumption is that they are related. It is possible that the complainant is different from that company since there could be more that one company called GWG Holdings. Because the GWG Holdings company I found is publicly traded, it has a Yahoo Finance profile page that states “GWG Holdings, Inc. was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota.” Also, on the aforementioned LinkedIn page, it states “Since 2006, GWG Life has purchased more than $1.7 billion in life insurance policy benefits.”
If this is the complainant (and I am not entirely sure it is), I don’t know how they could claim that the domain owner registered the domain name in bad faith considering the registration pre-dates the 2006 founding date listed in Yahoo Finance and LinkedIn. That said, it is possible that there was a GWG company in existence prior to the 2006 date cited by Yahoo and LinkedIn.
As with all UDRP proceedings, we will need to wait until the UDRP decision is published to know who filed the UDRP and why they did so. I will be following this UDRP and plan to publish an update when the decision is made.
Update – 10/19/16 – According to UDRPSearch.com, the complaint was denied. The decision has not yet been published.
Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Google + | Facebook | Email