Rick Schwartz Sends Email Regarding SaveMe.com UDRP | DomainInvesting.com

Rick Schwartz Sends Email Regarding SaveMe.com UDRP

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I read about the recent UDRP filing for SaveMe.com, a domain name Rick Schwartz bought over 10 years ago. The company that filed the UDRP owns a ccTLD version of the domain, which appears to have been registered just in 2010. In my opinion, this looks like an example of reverse domain name hijacking, although a UDRP panel or federal court will have the ultimate say in the matter.

Whether you like Rick Schwartz and his approach to this issue or not, all domain investors who hold valuable domain names should follow along with this case, especially if the UDRP panel rules in favor of the complainant. I would assume Schwartz will file a lawsuit and likely attempt to set a legal precedent that will benefit all domain investors who are threatened by companies over descriptive domain names.

The email Schwartz sent is below.
Just a very quick little note to make you aware of something in case you have not heard.

Reverse Domain Hijacking has been a serious issue facing the Domain Industry for a very long time. Large domainers can afford to fend off these predators. But the small guy can not afford to fork over $5000 and up to defend each of their domains and so they fold needlessly and the predator with no real rights, wins. It’s sickening when it happens.

Sometime these predators pick the wrong dude. In this case me and that is like peeing on an electric fence as I will soon demonstrate.

I own the generic domain SaveMe.com since 1996 when I hand registered it. 15 years later a company in Brazil seems to have hit pay dirt after registering SaveMe.com.br. in 2010.

Without even a trademark in Brazil let alone the USA, they have decided to file a WIPO suit against me and my domain of 16 years. See I refused their offers because they simply were not in the ballpark plus he misrepresented who he was. I never knew he represented this company until this week when I got the papers. I think you can clearly see the implications and if you can’t, give me 5 minutes to paint you a picture and why ANYONE with a dotcom domain name could be in jeopardy if the CLOWN were to prevail. Especially with thousands of new gTLD’s coming out.

The entire story is on my blog. I am on a mission of awareness and to make this particular person the POSTER BOY for all Reverse Domain Hijackers in the world. The next predator will think twice. Howard and I are determined to make CASE LAW with my POSTER BOY! I am in the process of making this guy FAMOUS as you are about to clearly see as this gets circulated and folks understand what is at stake and the ramifications for not just every domainer, but every domain holder as well.

http://www.ricksblog.com/my_weblog/2012/03/márcio-mello-chaves-is-a-wolf-in-sheeps-clothing-and-i-am-going-to-make-him-famous.html

Thanks for your time and hope you watch the progress of what I hope will become a landmark case that will protect LEGITIMATE domain holders.

Rick Schwartz


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 (19)

    Rick Schwartz

    You got to admit, it is the perfect domain name to fight this.

    Kinda like the famous quote “Save me Argentina” 😉

    “Save me dotcom”

    Thanks for helping to spread the word and thanks to everyone that does!

    March 17th, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Samantha Stewart

    Love it. Definitely a very fitting domain to make an example of someone.

    March 17th, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Rich

    How can they file an UDRP if the don’t even have a Mark?

    Can I file an UDRP in US without a TM?

    March 17th, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    David

    I’m still trying to find out where to file a federal case in the event of a lost UDRP. Is it where the registrar is located or can it be done in my local city since it’s a federal case?

    March 17th, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Leonard Britt

    While this is one specific filing, this case could set a precedent for the entire industry. Imagine the implications for any .COM owner if a developer or small business launches a site on an alt TLD or ccTLD domain and then decides it would be nice to have the .COM too. Register or acquire the .net/.org/.info/.biz or .whatever for x% of the .COM price and two years later file a UDRP for the .COM. Developers and small businesspeople quite often express their disdain for domainers whom they refer to as “domain squatters”. So this case is one worth following closely.

    I’ll throw out a wild scenario for you. If it became too easy to file a UDRP to upgrade to the .COM, could you have domainers and developers attempting to upgrade their hyphenated .whatever minisites to the .COM via a UDRP filing? And yet if the UDRP filing process became overly infringing, premium keyword domains in ANY extension could also be at risk.

    March 17th, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    John

    A fund should be established for those that would like to donate monies to further the cause beyond this one case and have laws passed to protect rightful .com owners.

    March 17th, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    Logen

    I agree with John. We should establish a fund and even an organisation to deal with reverse hijacking.

    March 17th, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    Elliot Silver

    @ John and Logan

    I hate to be a downer, but there are several problems with establishing a fund:

    1) You probably wouldn’t raise very much money because most domainers are cheap, and those who aren’t can easily fund their own defenses.

    2) Someone would have to be paid to oversee this fund (choose what names to defend, how much money to give out, actually collect the money, communicate with people who ask lots of questions about how their $ will be used, choosing a lawyer…etc.)

    3) You’d run out of money quickly since a UDRP can cost $5,000 and there seems to be at least 1 or 2 UDRP filings that appear to be RDNH monthly.

    4) It would be more sensible for wealthier domain investors to fund their own defenses

    Personally, I see this as a business risk. It would suck to pay $5,000 to defend a name I bought for $10,000, but that’s the cost of doing business. Luckily, Rick can afford the defense costs.

    Every domain investor should know the risks of domain ownership. An $8 domain name can be a $100,000+ liability.

    March 17th, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    Dave Zan

    How can they file an UDRP if the don’t even have a Mark?

    Can I file an UDRP in US without a TM?

    @Rich – they’ll likely try to demonstrate common law rights since UDRP also supports that.

    I’m still trying to find out where to file a federal case in the event of a lost UDRP. Is it where the registrar is located or can it be done in my local city since it’s a federal case?

    @David – ideally you file a lawsuit in the mutual jurisdiction selected under the UDRP, either yours or the registrar’s.

    March 18th, 2012 at 1:05 am

    WipoSucks

    This case being so ridiculous, the question is: why can’t wipo be sued over allowing this case to continue? Seems to me that after receiving the complaint and reviewing the case to see if there is merit they should notify the claimant that there is no case. The only reason they continue the case is because they treat the claimant as a CLIENT, and they habd the case over to a panet to see if something can still be done for the CLIENT.

    March 18th, 2012 at 9:33 am

    Tony

    “Every domain investor should know the risks of domain ownership. An $8 domain name can be a $100,000+ liability.”

    ——————————————————

    Hyperbole? No one will spend $100K to defend a handreg. Worst case is you lost the domain and your $8. If you’re referring to violating a company’s other IP with a dubious website on that domain then that’s a different issue altogether.

    March 18th, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    Elliot Silver

    @ Tony

    I was referring to the anti cyber squatting laws in the US which can bring penalties of up to $100k per infringing domain name.

    March 18th, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    John

    What more can someone do before buying or registering a hand reg? Check USPTO and Trademarkia etc? Look at history of name etc.. If nothing is there for the term or words and years later someone wants to go after the person for having the name that is something that should not be allowed to occur. They either pay up for the name or move onto another one. The individual took the chance and spent the money in order to make money either by reselling or developing the name. That is capitalism. Too many companies and/or individuals get pissed off similar to what they do with politics and religion and feel they are entitled to the name and disparage the individual speculator as a squatter. That is wrong and speculators need to protection against that.

    March 18th, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    Tony

    Elliot,

    I figured that’s what you were referring to but that penalty(s) doesn’t apply to just registering a domain. It’s also how that domain is used. That’s what I was alluding to.

    March 18th, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    Larry

    “Every domain investor should know the risks of domain ownership. An $8 domain name can be a $100,000+ liability.”

    “I was referring to the anti cyber squatting laws in the US which can bring penalties of up to $100k per infringing domain name.”

    Everyone here is getting way to nervous about this and paranoid and needs to calm down as the actual risk presented is way overstated.

    Do UDRP’s get filed (and federal lawsuits). Of course they do. Do people get into car accidents? Also true. But you still drive everyday. And fly airplanes etc.

    The issue to look at is the probability. Business and investing is about risk and evaluating the risk.

    So let me share with you my experience as someone who has been doing this since the mid 90’s and owning several thousand domains.

    1) I have been hit with exactly 1 UDRP which we won. We didn’t use the greatest lawyer in the world for this (it wasn’t any of the usual suspects) but YOU probably should (you don’t know what I know about doing this type of thing). So by all means hire Berryhill or Goldberger that is who I would recommend to people. There are others but those are the ones I have spoken to and observed over the years.

    2) In the recent past I received probably two scary letters from two major corporations that everyone has heard of. One in transportation and one in banking. In one case our lawyer responded with a 1 page letter and they went away. In the other case I responded myself and they went away.

    3) The chance of someone filing a cybersquatting lawsuit (which costs them money) to try and recover damages is extremely small. You’d have to really piss them off or have a wacko on the other side to have to deal with that. I had one of those and it was filed by a guy “pro se” on behalf of his corporation. An attorney needs to represent a corporation so it can’t be pro se. That got dismissed and he went away. He didn’t want to pay a lawyer. And his case (which we read) was ridiculous anyway.

    March 18th, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    Elliot Silver

    “Everyone here is getting way to nervous about this and paranoid and needs to calm down as the actual risk presented is way overstated.”

    @ Larry

    I’d rather get newbies concerned with trademarks than see them buy garbage like NewiPhone6-4g.info.

    That said, buy VerzionWirless.com and see how quickly you get a package from their lawyers :)

    March 18th, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    big guys tm

    with all due respect elliot- you bloggers keep harping on newbies and there tm issues. But the reality is people you move names to and buy from a good portion of them do tm investing

    So lets get real. Enough with newbies comment. If you want to say something-say it to the big guys and your friends.

    Just my 2 cents Elliot.

    Rick will win the case but this an example of how udrp and wipo is so flawed.

    March 18th, 2012 at 8:48 pm

      Elliot Silver

      @ big

      You don’t get the amount of emails I get asking if I want to buy their newly registered TM names.

      Most “big guys” (as you put it) who buy and monetize TM names make a conscience business decision to do so. The reward outweighs the risk to them, likely due to volume. I am not going to begrudge someone else’s business nor will I stick my nose in someone’s business that is not my own. The people who do this are well versed in the risks, and they likely feel they will make more money in the long run.

      HOWEVER, when newbies have no clue about TM or IP law as it relates to domain names and thinks it’s smart to buy domain names with popular trademarks, that is a big mistake. Newbies (among others) read my blog, and if posts like these can dissuade them from registering risky domain names, it’s worth it. Even if they aren’t sued, buying sh*tty domain names is a waste of money.

      Thankfully I haven’t received a TM notice or a cease and desist letter in many years – since I was a newbie. I learned my lesson from a couple of warnings. I was lucky, especially because I bought sh*tty TM names without even knowing what parking was. My only intent was to re-sell, and in retrospect, that was stupid.

      March 18th, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    big guys tm

    Yeah we get that. Newbies also learn by being on namepros as well and dnforum.

    But for you to keep harping on “newbies” and you respect the big guys and there tm that dosent make much sense either.

    We wont agree on this probably and dont know the big guys and all there tm names nor do I do business with them. So I dont have a conflicted interested either.

    But yes I agree on newbies issue. But if your going continue to harp on newbies, its ok for your peers as well and there the “leaders in the industry”. They represent the industry as well. Not just newbies.

    Last post on this. Either way you have your views. I have mine. Will leave it as that.

    March 18th, 2012 at 9:33 pm

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