Reverse Domain Name Hijacking Ruling in MEZ.com UDRP | DomainInvesting.com
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Reverse Domain Name Hijacking Ruling in MEZ.com UDRP

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In September of last year, a UDRP was filed against the Mez.com domain name. This afternoon, I learned via an update on UDRPSearch.com that the UDRP was denied. I later learned that the panel also ruled that this was a case of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking (RDNH).

The registrant of the domain name was represented by attorney Jason Schaeffer of the ESQWire law firm in New Jersey. In my opinion, ESQWire is one of the top law firms representing domain name owners in UDRP and other domain name defense cases.

Although I asked for and received a copy of the UDRP provided by attorney Schaeffer, the decision has not yet been published on the WIPO website. I uploaded a pdf of the decision here.

The UDRP was initiated by a Swiss company called George Mez AG shortly after the complainant submitted an offer of $600 to buy the domain name. The company also apparently mentioned its MEZ trademarks in the purchase discussion. From my perspective, three letter .com domain names have been worth beyond three figures for over a decade, and LLL .com domain names have been selling regularly for 5 figures. Even the lowest value LLL .com domain names sell for 5 figures these days, and I wouldn’t consider MEZ.com to be on the lower end of this type of domain name. I can’t imagine an offer like this would entice a domain owner to sell.

The decision and the facts surrounding the decision are a bit complicated, so you will want to read the entire decision to see the facts of the case and how the three member panel came to its conclusion.

One thing you will note is that the respondent asked for a finding of RDNH, which is not always the case with UDRP responses. In outlining its case, the respondent seems to have done a good job at explaining why it felt the UDRP should be considered a case of attempted hijacking. I am somewhat surprised the panel found there was RDNH given the circumstances, but the panel listed four reasons for why it qualified. Among them, was that the panel felt the UDRP filing was “plan B.” Here’s how the panel described this:

“In the Panel’s view, this is a classic “Plan B” case where a party, having been frustrated in its negotiations to buy a domain name, resorts to the ultimate option of a highly contrived and artificial claim not supported by any facts or the plain wording of the UDRP. This stratagem has been described in many UDRP cases as “a highly improper purpose” and it has contributed to findings of RDNH.”

Congratulations to Jason Schaeffer and ESQWire on the decision and the RDNH finding.


About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.


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Comments (8)

    Aishwin Vikhona

    Thanks for covering this Elliot. This dark arena needs more light as lot of trademark holder companies are trying to threaten the domain investors with UDRP and trying to domains this way.
    No wonder Jason and his team from Esqwire firm did an amazing job of convicting Mez Technik of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking.

    Its a lot of hassle for a domain name investor to get into a legal battle and so it often intimidates into transferring ownership of their domain names to trademark owners to avoid legal action, particularly when the domain names belong to smaller organizations or individuals.

    January 11th, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    Nat Cohen

    Congrats Aishwin, Mez and Jason on the well deserved win and the finding of RDNH.

    January 11th, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    AbdulBasit Makrani

    Aishwin,
    Congrats on winning UDRP for MEZ.com and that too with RDNH!
    Great job!

    January 11th, 2017 at 10:36 pm

    Bhandari

    Good and rightful outcome.

    The domain name MEZ.ch is owned by Bettina Mez, Winterthur, Switzerland.
    The domain name MEZ.de is owned by Video Vision GmbH, Bad Urach, Germany.

    The complainant was Georg Mez AG of Rotkreuz, Switzerland. What is their web address? A google search on “Georg Mez AG” doesn’t find it.

    January 12th, 2017 at 6:25 am

    Alex

    What happens when the case is declared RDNH? Should the complainant pay any fine?

    January 15th, 2017 at 8:12 pm

      AbdulBasit Makrani

      Pays nothing. That’s why they keep on trying to steal the domain this way.

      In reply to Alex | January 15th, 2017 at 11:24 pm

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