Not Responding to an Offer Could Result in a UDRP
I follow UDRP filings and decisions, especially those that involve short, keyword, and other independently valuable .com domain names. One of the things I have noticed is that sometimes companies file UDRP complaints as their “Plan B.” They are willing to buy a particular domain name, but they file a UDRP because the domain owner’s price expectation is too high or because they don’t receive a response to their inquiry or inquiries.
It is unfortunate when a company files a UDRP because they couldn’t come to terms with the domain owner. This is a risk domain owners should know about, and it can be unavoidable when a company (usually wrongly) thinks it should be the rightful owner of the domain name. UDRP panels generally seem to get these decisions right, although the legal cost for the domain owner can be high and I would imagine it is frustrating to have to defend the right to own a great domain name.
Some domain owners ignore inquiries and offers as a policy. Perhaps the offer is far too low to be considered and the owner doesn’t want to waste his or her time dealing with a lowballer. Perhaps the owner doesn’t reply as a strategy to induce a larger offer. This sometimes works as a company or business person gets more desperate and improves an offer after not hearing feedback. Sometimes a domain owner simply doesn’t want to sell a domain name and ignores the offer.
Whatever the case is for not responding, this lack of a response can lead to a UDRP filing. Perhaps it would have been unavoidable in the first place, but it seems that some UDRP complainants get frustrated with not receiving a response to an offer or inquiry that they file a UDRP as a means of being heard. While this likely wouldn’t yield a positive result from an annoyed/pissed domain owner, some may look at it as a last resort effort to get the domain name. I think this is the wrong approach, but they either don’t know better or may be poorly counseled. They may even think the lack of response shows that nobody cares about the domain name.
Please do not take this as legal advice, as I have no legal experience, but I wanted to share an observation of mine. I almost always respond to inquiries and offers, even if they are not going to lead to deals. I wouldn’t want someone to think that their best chance of being heard is through a legal proceeding.
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