Online Property Rights Threatened As Government Body Agrees To Hear Saveme.com Complaint

Morning Folks!!


This Press Release will be coming out on Monday Morning. Here is a sneak peak to start the circulation a bit early. My thanks to Danny Pryor and Howard Neu for helping to compose this. If you would like to possibly be quoted in this release, please use your full name for verification.


Rick Schwartz


BOCA RATON, Fla., April 9, 2012 - - eRealEstate.com Claims Online Property Rights Threatened As Government Body Agrees To Hear Saveme.com Complaint


Are United States citizens and companies that use the famous dot-com extension, as most U.S.-based companies do, now a target of foreign companies that want your valuable domain or your business? That question, according to Rick Schwartz of eRealEstate.com of Boca Raton, Florida who owns Saveme.com, sets the tone of a pending cyberwar at the World Intellectual Property Organization. Other online investors such as Paul J. Kapchuck, agree that the stakes are high as a showdown looms.


A pair of Brazilian companies (Online Services, Ltd. and E-Commerce Media Group Information and Technology, Ltd.) owns the domain saveme.com.br (the .com.br extension is reserved specifically for Brazil) that they registered in 2010 and started using in 2011. On March 13th, these companies filed a complaint with World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), against Schwartz. Schwartz asserts that the pair is hoping to grab the very valuable dotcom version of that domain. SaveMe.com was registered by Schwartz in 1996 and SaveMe.com.br wasn't registered until 2010.


Both Schwartz and Website Developer Danny Pryor, as well as established trademark attorney Howard Neu, agree the present case is an effort to use Internet administrative procedure to seize a generic domain name that was registered 15 years before the Brazilian companies were ever in business. The Brazilian companies even noted in their complaint that they had not even secured a trademark, blaming the Brazilian Government for dragging its feet. The companies state, in their complaint, no trademark can be granted because of 'Brazil Trademark Office's enormous backlog in analyzing trademark applications.'


While WIPO rejected the original complaint last month, citing “deficient” arguments, an updated version of the complaint was re-filed on March 24, after WIPO sent the case back to the filers for modifications. Among the deficiencies observed by WIPO, the most notable was that the original complaint had not fully explained how bad faith allegations applied in this case.


WIPO comments to the complaining parties is viewed as a slant in favor of the complainant, by at least one attorney's account. Paul Keating, a world-renowned Internet Attorney, specifically observed on this guest blog post that WIPO provided the complainant in the saveme.com UDRP case, 'a second bite at the apple, because they are being advised to review and correct substantive issues pertaining to their burden of proof.'


WIPO, on the other hand, will not provide Mr. Schwartz with a second bite of the apple if he fails in his efforts to defend his domain of 16 years, Neu observed, calling the arbitration setting an uneven playing field. 'Schwartz will be forced to file a new action in U.S. Federal Court for relief,' Neu said. Howard Neu represents Schwartz in the WIPO case and has been his attorney since 1999.


'This is a perfect example of 'Reverse Domain Hijacking',' Schwartz said, 'A party, with no rights whatsoever, tries to bully folks into giving up their domain name, and the domain name owner in many cases can’t afford to defend his property. That defense often costs many thousands of dollars. The Brazilian Complainants must show that in 1996, I registered the name in 'Bad Faith' and somehow knew a company half a world away would use that name 16 years later.'


Schwartz added, 'We are determined to let folks who may own valuable dot-com real estate know what is to come, as a bad decision here could have a huge impact on online business. In fact, it could make U.S. businesses much more vulnerable, because we rely on dot-com for our online presence and commerce, as opposed to other extensions or country codes.'


The Brazilian companies have asked WIPO for a three-member arbitration panel, composed entirely of Brazilian nationals. There is no date currently set for the arbitration hearing.


About eRealestate.com: eRealEstate.com has been buying and developing electronic real estate since 1995. eRealEstate.com is the net's first site devoted to domains and their development.


Press Contact Howard Neu howard@neulaw.com 954-662-1816




39 thoughts on “Online Property Rights Threatened As Government Body Agrees To Hear Saveme.com Complaint

  1. Stan

    For the sake of the domaining industry as a whole I hope you lose this case, then you can go to the Federal Court set a legal precedent to retain a name that is clearly yours and level the playing field for all domainers.

    Reply
  2. steve

    T.U.R.D. has shown its power. We claim full credit in this reversal from WIPO.
    Even though the complaints new reason was that Rick made fun of them and insulted them and had still did not address the bad faith argument.
    WIPO is now stacked with bleeding heart liberals who hate rich people.
    Support T.U.R.D. with your donations today!

    Reply
  3. IMultiscreen

    May I venture a suggestion? Switch,”they,” at the beginning of this sentence:
    “They own the domain saveme.com.br, which is a country code domain name specifically for Brazil that they started using just last year.”
    with
    “Online Services, Ltd. and E-Commerce Media Group Information and Technology, Ltd., own the domain saveme.com.br, which is a country code domain name specifically for Brazil that they started using just last year.”
    because the last company mentioned is eRealestate.com . . . so it would cause confusion to leave it, because you said,”eRealestate,” then,”They own saveme.com.br.
    Hope this all gets resolved to your satisfaction!

    Reply
  4. steve

    WIPO”shipped sophisticated computer servers to the … demand by the Internet Commerce Association to be investigated by ICANN
    T.U.R.D convinces WIPO to turn media coverage away from their criminal acts by attacking SAVEME.com
    T.U.R.D is fast becoming a powerhouse in the domain industry.

    Reply
  5. Tricolorro

    Rick,
    Please believe me that the following commentary is meant to be helpful.
    If you deem it not helpful then please just delete or ignore it.
    It is all of course just my opinion.
    Reading through the Press Release, I feel there are some wordings that could cause confusion to someone not familiar with Rick Schwartz, Domaining and WIPO.
    To wit,
    In the paragraph that starts with”A pair of Brazilian companies”,
    it first says”filed a complaint…against a Florida man” but just 3 sentences down says”…filed their complaint against eRealestate.com of Boca Raton, Florida,…”.
    ????
    I think you need to pick one, the person or the corporation, otherwise it is confusing to someone unfamiliar with either.

    “A pair of Brazilian companies have filed a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization, WIPO against…”
    I think this should be corrected to:
    “A pair of Brazilian companies have filed a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), against…”

    “They own the domain saveme.com.br…”
    When you mention multiple parties, it can be confusing to use the pronoun”they” as it may not be clear without reading back who”they”
    is.
    I think it would be better to be more specific and say”Complainant” or”The Brazilian companies”.

    “They own the domain saveme.com.br, which is a country code domain name specifically for Brazil that they started using just last year.”
    I feel this sentence is a missed opportunity. It would be good to establish early on in the Press Release that SaveMe.com was registered in 1996 and SaveMe.com.br wasn’t registered until 15 years later in 2010.
    Saying”that they started using just last year” is NOT the same thing as”that wasn’t registered until 2010 and not actually used until 2011″.

    Okay that’s my 2 cents. I wish you the best and hope this case plays out like it should.

    Reply
  6. Ron

    This case at best should have been an April Fool’s Day Joke.
    I guess it is your destiny to set the domain universe on the right course. I remember you saying from day one, buy now, because in the future it will become very costly, and impossible to obtain. They didn’t listen, now they are using loopholes to steal domains.
    I could have invested my money elsewhere, I could have enjoyed the finer things a bit more, but I chose to invest in this space, while others invested elsewhere, and now valuations are coming in line with the reality, and power of the internet, and corporate greed has reared it’s ugly head.

    Reply
  7. Rick Schwartz

    Thanks all for your comments and suggestions. I have employed many as you can see if you reload the page. Making it understandable for folks that know nothing about this is of course key. Thanks again!!
    I will keep polishing up as suggestions come in.

    Reply
  8. domain risk

    @Ron
    Not sure what the heck you are talking about. Seems like you are counting chickens before they hatch.
    Your domains currently have little to no liquidity and this market is far from a safe haven without risk.
    While I believe that domains are a good long term investment, and spent tens of thousands on regs in the late ’90s and over $1m in the aftermarket during the downturn over the past 3 years, by no means am I declaring victory.
    In fact, I dont currently view my domains as worth much liquid fmv and dont share your sense of security. And I promise you my domains are relatively as good or better than yours.
    I caution you not to declare domains are now worth a fortune because of one idiotic brazilian business. Many top tier domains are not worth anywhere near their selling price 4-5 years ago.
    Best of luck to you and hopefully you are able to get what you paid for your domains if/when you need the liquidity

    Reply
  9. Trico

    Rick,
    You have rewritten this press Release quite well.
    It is clear, concise and powerful.
    Great job!

    Reply
  10. Mir

    Everyday our virtual assets are threatened by reverse domain name hijackers. Rick I hope you set the rules right with this case. Such cheap tactics will always be used by scammers. Please keep us updated. I would say good luck but luck is irrelevant in your pursuit in defending what is rightly yours.

    Reply
  11. steve

    Tell the WIPO people they never should have accepted this claim.
    But if they are bent on helping the plantiff so much they might as well take a lawyers fee from him to.
    The true obsurdity is that WIPO actually is going to hear this case. And they will probably make you fly down to Brazil.
    This is the way the assholes in WIPO get to stick it to you as they will never make more than what they can rip off of the domains users. Fuck wipo

    Reply
  12. A Facebook User

    Rick, The marketability of the domain name in this case COULD NOT be ANY better!
    I believe I could draw some SERIOUS attention to SaveMe.com with simply the domain PLASTERED on 1-9 34 foot RV’s trolling around times square plus or minus a dozen+ tractor trailers around Manhattan.
    For the cause itself and what you’ve taught me over the past 15+ years; I could make that happen immediately for very little.
    Rob

    Reply
  13. domain guy

    where are now into the legal realm…and where ip law takes over..its that simple..as for wipo giving the complainant a second bite of the apple the complainant was inefficient they could have just refiled.
    the bottom line is the SAME AND WILL NOT CHANGE WHEREVER THE CASE IS HEARD. TM RIGHTS ARE OBTAINED BY USE IN RIGHT YOU CANNOT HAVE A USE IN RIGHT 15 YRS BEFORE THE COMPANY EXISTED.LOCAL RIGHTS DO NOT EFFECT INTERNATIONAL RIGHTS.AS A LAST RESORT FEDERAL COURT WILL STRAIGHTEN THIS OUT AND YOU CAN SUE FOR ATTORNEY FEES THESE YEAHOOS ARE ATTORNEYS…SO ITS NO BIG DEAL.and it might just be the right way to handle this sitution to set .com presecent…especially with 1k new suffixs coming on the market..someone has to make a stand it might as wwll be the”domain king” you are qualified…the only other ones qualified would be ham,shilling, mann..its tough and lonely being a visionary…

    Reply
  14. Rick Schwartz

    btw, my favorite part of the complaint is how he accuses me of trying to hide my identity.
    What movie are these clowns watching? lol

    Reply
  15. AlanR

    Rick, I would get rid of the part where you say you own over 6000 domains! As you know, most people don’t know that much about domains so if you mention how many you own, you won’t get any empathy or sympathy but risk getting only outrage. There is still that mindset out there that owning more than one domain makes you a cybersquatter. Most will feel that losing one domain out of over 6000 won’t be a big deal and the bad guys will probably get more support because of it from the general reader not familiar with the domain industry. You could come across looking more like a greedy land grabber with more land than you need rather than a potential victim of injustice by greedy offshore companies working against interests in the US.

    Reply
  16. Atlanta Braves

    Good job. I am hoping for the front page of the NY Times and CNN.
    The guy who said he hopes you lose so that you can go on to establish legal precedent sounded cruel when I first read it, but he actually has a good point. Regrettably, the industry needs some actual laws against turkeys from another country swooping in to scoop up your hard-earned .com’s with little other than ad hominum arguments. Another silly WIPO arbitration conclusion won’t be binding and won’t amount to a hill of beans. Especially one written by three Brazilian panelists.

    Reply
  17. John B

    Hey Rick,
    I wanted to re-state a thank you for fighting the good fight. You are doing the right thing. I could not afford a fight such as this myself, so thank you.
    Is there any way to find out what other domains these people own? Perhaps your more wealthy friends with a little time and disposable income would like to get some nice .co.br domains themselves.
    Since everyone is entitled (according to the Brazilians) let’s see if it works both ways….
    J

    Reply
  18. earl adkins

    Rick, Thank you for standing up for all of us and a big thank you goes to Mr. Howard Neu.
    The sad thing is most people around the world hold us the people of America in a dim view.
    They have contempt for the GREAT AMERICAN KNOW-HOW .We come up with the internet, we created the commercial use of the internet we are just plain great at creating things and getting things done.
    Now we have these world parasites who I don’t put much faith in that might take advantage of the system.
    It’s like this health care debate in the Supreme Court, it’s not in the rule book (Constitution) but I’m entitled to it.
    This is about property rights and FREEDOM and I hope people get it.
    I will always be in your corner Rick

    Reply
  19. Theo

    Rick,
    Any research being done how brazillian panelists act when it comes to WIPO’s ?
    Reason for asking this (or mentioning this), i keep a close eye on WIPO’s regarding Dutch .NL domain names.
    And the majority gets denied. And i see alot of reverse hijacking . And most of them trump the trademark card and usually goes south when the panelists looks what the EU trademark is really about.
    Alot of times they have a trademark but does not hold any meaning when it comes to a domain or the internet in general.

    Reply
  20. Ray Marshall

    Good luck!
    By the way, I took your advice several years ago regarding domains in other extensions. As I recall, you indicated that buyers in other extensions should limit their purchases to high premium domains. Followed your advice regarding the .LA domain space. Looking forward to seeing CITY-TLDs being introduced over the next couple of years.
    Ray Marshall
    NuMedia Concepts, LLC

    Reply
  21. Joao

    I understand why the frustration about a brazilian attack, but i hope that you dont loose track on the main goal here.
    This is the opportunity to make history on the legal aspect of the entire domaining area. And quite frankly, i cant think of any other domainer with the proper passion, motivation and resources.
    Stan sugested to take this case to a federal court. And i ask…why not?
    It is clear that the complainants are motivated to be heard by courts. Many other companies are ready to follow their kind of action. Many already act like them.
    Why not trying to drive this case to the proper legal level?
    What i am trying to say is that it isn’t important to punish or making this company pay. They are only an instrument to make history. The rest its just their pain.
    What is important its to make other companies like this one to stop their actions even before they start thinking to try.

    Reply
  22. Ray Marshall

    BTW, .LA is also a great space for Latin American domain names (a.k.a America Latina). Utilized your strategy there too since .LA can be used in that region like .EU in Europe.
    Ray Marshall
    NuMedia Concepts, LLCRAY

    Reply
  23. Jim Donohue

    Rick,
    A minor suggestion. The press release states”The Brazilian Complainants must show that in 1996, I registered the name in ‘Bad Faith’ and somehow knew a company half a world away would use that name 16 years later.”
    Rio de Janeiro is only about 4000 miles from Miami, almost a neighbor. Replacing”half a world away” with”in another continent” is more accurate and would get a better reception in Brazil where I assume you will eventually target the press release.

    Reply
  24. steve

    WIPO couldn’t wipe a cats ass.
    Can this hearing be taped and put up on your site.

    Reply
  25. Biggie.us

    guess i read the PR too late
    would have liked to see you elaborate on what”reverse domain hijacking” is for the General Public and possibly link to some related examples.
    also, when you say”
    “WIPO rejected the original complaint last month, citing “deficient” arguments, an updated version of the complaint was re-filed on March 24, after WIPO sent the case back to the filers for modifications.”
    maybe explain what WIPO typically does or should have done, when a complaint is rejected. as this could shine light with an inconsistency in the actions of WIPO.
    again…
    Good Luck!

    Reply

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