There really is a penalty for Reverse Domain Name Hijacking and it is far more severe than anything monetary. I have been defending my domains from predators and would-be Domain Name Hijackers for over 14 years. When the Saveme.com case (Start at bottom of link page) came to me as a GIFT about 16 months ago I RELISHED my opportunity to change things. It was such a slam dunk that I was going to make this case an example for others and a warning of the SEVERE CONSEQUENCES that come with it. I may lose a domain, but a REVERSE DOMAIN NAME HIJACKER loses their entire reputation and it can't be repaired.
When I was a kid my parents and my teachers would scare me to be good as they would tell me if I was bad it would be on my "Permanent Record". Well when you commit a crime, it is on your permanent record. Misbehaving in school? Not so much.
So I have used the SaveMe.com case as well as others like Procter and Gamble to illustrate just how bad a decision trying to STEAL somebody else's domain really is. And so I did. I PROMISED to make Márcio Mello Chaves FAMOUS!! Promise kept baby!!
THAT is how SEO REALLY works!!!
RELEVANCY!! Be relevant and you will have no problem being searched. Marcio Mello Chavez is relevant to Ricksblog.com and more importantly to Reverse Domain Name Hijacking. How does he EVER fix it?? It's a permanent record of FACT!
Search procter and gamble domains. You no longer get a list of domains they own.
So I believe the SOCIAL PENALTY far outweighs anything else. A $100k fine is nothing when you talk of a 7 figure domain and a multi-billion dollar company. A win could be viewed as a "Discount". But when you have to deal with the SOCIAL FALLOUT, it is MUCH more SEVERE and I am proving it!
The Scarlett Letter of Domain Hijacking will follow those throughout their entire lifetimes and beyond. Here are MY POSTS about Reverse Domain Name Hijacking and those involved. The NEXT guy DESERVES what he gets because he has been warned and I am going to change their futures more than they can change their futures.
So this July 4th I feel like this year has been the turning point in Reverse Domain Name Hijacking (RDNH). And yes, I like to write out in full Reverse Domain Name Hijacking as many times as I can to associate a name with the deed! My only obligation to a Reverse Domain Name Hijacker is to make them FAMOUS! They try to destroy MY BUSINESS or YOUR BUSINESS?? Then they MUST live with the PERMANENT consequences. Did they show you mercy? Well they are warned and they OWN their decisions.
Did the biggest Company Shake up in 100 YEARS at Procter and Gamble have something to do with Reverse Domain Name Hijacking? Don't discount the possibility! Somebody made the decision to SOIL their companies stellar name. In government it may be overlooked or you get promoted. In business, you get you ASS kicked to the curb with all involved! And deservedly so!
I have 18 years and many millions of dollars invested in my online business as well as many of you readers. So if some IDIOT thinks he can just STEAL our hard work by hiring some hotshot and thinking $15k is all the skin they have in the game, then they have to live with the fallout and that fallout can be severe and life changing. That's what BOTH the attorney and the client get from now on because attorney's know better at this point in time. So the job of the attorney is not be part of a hijacking and to AID and ABET. It is to educate their client or FIRE their client. Your CHOICE and just remember that YOUR NAME will be included in the fallout. It's not up to you and it is not in your control once you AID and ABET. And make NO MISTAKE, the panels today are not ignorant. The attorney is the mastermind of the hijacking as well as the driver of the car the way I see it. You have been hired as a contract hit man but the hit is not on a person, it is on property. Your client is in the back seat directing you and paying YOU to help him HIJACK a domain name. The MOMENT you go along with that, you are just as guilty because YOU KNOW what you are doing. It is premeditated. You are just as guilty aren't you my attorney??
Wrong minded? ok. But THAT is EXACTLY the way I see the roles and THAT is the passion I will write with every single time. Remember we are not talking about an honest difference of opinion where you need a ruing. We are talking when that ruling comes in that STATES that you have ABUSED the process. For that Mr. Attorney, YOU will be held accountable. Your choice? Tell your client the FACTS or FIRE your client. It may be the most important decision you ever make in life. And I get to write about YOU and mention NAMES whenever I feel like.
Molly Megee Hankins and Heitor Chavez are examples of what I am talking about as they represented Reverse Domain Name Hijackers and knew better! I will add more to the list as I look through the decisions to see which lawyers abused the process.
I am going to stop this practice in it's tracks! If you are a REVERSE DOMAIN NAME HIJACKER or are found GUILTY of ABUSING the process, then You and your attorney will be known far and wide and throughout the world and it will follow you folks like a shadow on sunny days AND cloudy days and even in the dark!
Then you have the KING of all. Keating Muething & Klekamp PLL who represented Procter and Gamble. Have THEY been fired? Let me give them a second mention Keating Muething & Klekamp PLL. I would assume these are top notch folks. HOW could they ALLOW their client to walk into this? I guess it would take real balls to fire P&G. They might lose the account? Wonder if they were fired?
So if you are being unfairly threatened about your domain name, just point them here. It is FREE and EFFECTIVE because it is all based on FACT and PASSION! Give them a little window into how things may unfold because when YOU WIN and they get found GUILTY of REVERSE DOMAIN NAME HIJACKING, I am going to write about them right here and make them famous too!
And what can you do? Circulate this post. Retweet it. Like it. Comment on Linkedin. Circulate it. THAT is a very small effort to help protect your livelihood and your assets that costs nothing and helps put these folks on notice. THAT is how to help STOP Reverse Domain Name Hijacking.
And just for the sake of republishing for this post and July 4th. Here is the current list I have of RDNH cases. This list that the NEXT SCHMUCK gets to join and LIVE WITH!
So from now on we must ROAST these Reverse Domain Name Hijackers (RDNH). Ah you say but Rick what have you been doing if you are not already roasting them? Well there are some innovative ways we will begin to get the attention of these companies. But we will leave that for another day because this CONTENT is right here and not going away anytime soon.
Try to hijack a domain name and you will be shamed publicly because public opinion is the way to stop bad behavior when the laws out there are not adequate enough to do the job. Each of these companies will receive an increasingly HARSHER post from me because they are not ignorant of what they are doing. In almost every case they KNEW what they were doing and their INTENT was to STEAL using a governing body as their pawns!
The PUBLIC now OWNS the reputation of each of these companies and individuals as well as the attorney's that KNOWINGLY aid and abet because they KNOW BETTER. They are all now BRANDED in the most despicable way and so all the $$$ they spent to familiarize us with their products just got a mighty damaging blow.
Well there have been more findings of Reverse Domain Hijacking in the last 12 months that any preceding 12 month period. So the cat is out of the bag and they can no longer fool panels into being their unknowing accomplice.
So when I get threats, THIS IS WHAT THEY CAN LOOK FORWARD TO
I have 41 such cases so far of RDNH and this resource has 129. Each win will discourage the next would-be hijacker. A tip of the hat to all owners below that fought and a big congrats to the attorney that represented them! I will list any and all cases as I learn of them. In time we hope decisions like these will will make the next IDIOT think twice before they attempt to STEAL something they have no legal or moral rights to. We now OWN YOUR REPUTATION and we will circulate!
And a special tip of the hat to John Berryhill who is the leading RDNH attorney in the world. I am counting and will post how many wins he has recorded on behalf of his clients. I would guess about 1/3 of all decisions. So if you are up against Berryhill or Neu or Goldberger, or Keating or a few others, good luck! You'll need it. Save yourself a great loss and embarrassment and WITHDRAW your case and send the other party their expense money and then get down to this thing we call "Capitalism" and NEGOTIATE!!
Otherwise you get to be labeled what "I" want to label you as and you will be tagged with that DESERVED recognition each and every time a new client does a search to find the good, the bad and the ugly. Want to know which group "Fuckers" will end up in.
And with each conviction I will be a bigger PRICK than the post before UNTIL this crap stops and will begin the tedious job of making REVERSE DOMAIN HIJACKING a CRIMINAL offense as we move forward.
If you are on thin ice, and found out to be GUILTY, you and your company will be listed right here and in all future blog posts and interviews relating to this and I reserve my right to use your attempted theft at every chance I get. Let the PUBLIC decide who is the THIEF! Who is the party found GUILTY of REVERSE DOMAIN NAME HIJACKING! Each case will be included in the book I am writing as well.
The Complainant is G.W.H.C. - Serviços Online Ltda., E-Commerce Media Group Informação e Tecnologia Ltda. of Sao Paulo, Brazil, represented by Almeida Advogados, Brazil. Found guilty of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking
Case #3 CinemaCity.com The Complainant is Prime Pictures LLC of Dubai, United Arab Emirates (“UAE”), represented by Law offices of Vince Ravine, PC, United States of America (“USA”). Reverse Domain Name Hijacker
Case #4 CollectiveMedia.com The Complainant is Collective Media, Inc., New York, United States of America, represented by Lowenstein Sandler PC, United States of America is a Reverse Domain Name Hijacker
Case #7 Mess.com Kiwi Shoe Polish Company, The Complainant is Mess Enterprises, San Francisco, California, of United States of America, represented by Steve Clinton, United States of America is a Reverse Domain Name Hijacker
Case #8 Goldline.com The Complainant is Goldline International, Inc., represented by Spataro & Associates is a Reverse Domain Name Hijacker
Case #12 TrailBlazer.com The Complainant is Trailblazer Learning, Inc. dba Trailblazer, Caledonia, Michigan, United States of America, Self-represented by Brett W. Company COO, Caledonia, Michigan, United States of America is a Reverse Domain Name Hijacker.
Case #13 DreamGirls.com The Complainant is Dreamgirls, Inc., Tampa, Florida, United States of America, represented by Christensen, Miller, Fink, Jacobs, Glaser, Weil & Shapiro, LLP, Los Angeles, California, United States of America and have been labeled a "Reverse Domain Name Hijacker".
Case #14 Mexico.com The Complainant is Consejo de Promoción Turística de México, S.A. de C.V., Colonia Anzures, Mexico, represented by Bello, Guzmán, Morales Y Tsuru, S.C., Mexico is a Reverse Domain Name Hijacker
Case #15 Windsor.com Complainant in this administrative proceeding is Windsor Fashions, Inc., a California corporation with a principal place of business in Los Angeles, California, United States of America. Complainant is represented in this proceeding by Abraham M. Rudy, Esq. and Julie Waldman, Esq., Weisman, Wolff, Bergman, Coleman, Grodin & Evall LLP, Beverly Hills, California, United States of America. They have been labeled a "Reverse Domain Name Hijacker".
Case #16 Mindo.com Complainants are Scandinavian Leadership AB and Mindo AB of Uppsala, Sweden, internally represented. They have been labeled a "Reverse Domain Name Hijacker".
Case # 17 and Sha.com he Complainant is Albir Hills Resort, S.A. of Alfaz del Pi Alicante, Spain, represented by PADIMA, Abogados y Agentes de Propiedad Industrial, S.L., Spain. They have been labeled a "Reverse Domain Name Hijacker".
Case # 18 etatil.com The Complainants are ÖZALTUN OTELCİLİK TURİZM VE TİCARET LTD. ŞTİ. of Istanbul, Turkey, Allstar Hotels LLC of New York, Unites States of America and Mr. Metin ALTUN of Istanbul, Turkey, represented by Istanbul Patent & Trademark Consultancy Ltd., Turkey. They have been labeled a "Reverse Domain Name Hijacker".
Case # 19 Takeout.com. Complainant is Tarheel Take-Out, LLC of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States of America (“U.S.”), represented internally. They have been labeled a "Reverse Domain Name Hijacker".
Case # 20 WallStreet.com The Complainant is Wall-Street.com, LLC of Florida, United States of America (the “United States” or “US”), represented by Flint IP Law, United States. They have been labeled a "Reverse Domain Name Hijacker".
Case # 21 parvi.org found for the complainant in 2009 but in 2012 the courts rules that theCity of Paris, France was guilty of "Reverse Domain Name Hijacking" in a landmark case that resulted in a $125,000 judgement against the city.
Case #22 Gtms.com The Complainant is Sustainable Forestry Management Limited, a company incorporated under the laws of Bermuda, with its principal place of business in London, United Kingdom. The Complainant is represented by its general counsel, Mr. Eric Bettelheim. They have been labeled a "Reverse Domain Name Hijacker".
Case #23 PetExpress.com The Complaintant is Airpet Animal Transport, Inc. represented by Mark W. Good of Terra Law LLP, California, USA. They have been labeled a "Reverse Domain Name Hijacker"
Case #25 Unive.com Complainant is Coöperatie Univé U.A. of Arnhem, Netherlands, represented by Novagraaf Nederland B.V., Netherlands. "Given the circumstances, the Panel finds that the Complaint was brought in bad faith, in an attempt at Reverse Domain Name Hijacking, and constitutes an abuse of the administrative proceeding"
Case #26 eCase.com AINS, INC. (“Complainant”), represented by Janice W. Housey of Symbus Law Group, LLC, Virginia, USA. The panel concludes that the Complaint was brought in bad faith in an attempt at Reverse Domain Name Hijacking.
Case #27 TinyPrint.com Complainant is Tiny Prints, Inc. (“Complainant”), represented by CitizenHawk, Inc., California, USA "Complaint was brought in bad faith and that, accordingly, Complainant has attempted to engage in Reverse Domain Name Hijacking"
Case #28 Enki.com Complainant is Enki LLC (“Complainant”), represented by Eric A. Novikoff, of California, USA. "This is a frivolous proceeding which should never have been filed by Complainant. Accordingly, the Panel finds that Complainant is guilty of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking"
Case #29 SFM.com Complainant is State Fund Mutual Insurance Co. represented by Peter G. Nikolai, of Nikolai & Mersereau, P.A., Minnesota, USA The Panel finds "Complainant has engaged in Reverse Domain Name Hijacking."
"It is impossible to believe that the Complainant, who employs ultra-sophisticated marketing methods, was not aware that the disputed domain name, <swash.com>, had been registered and used by other entities for some years when the Complainant introduced its SWASH product line in 2009.
The entire Panel finds it more extraordinary still that in its Complaint the Complainant represented the SWASH brand to be a worldwide brand of longstanding with multi-million dollar sales, stating that over the last 4 years alone the brand had gained sales of over USD 40,000,000. When this was challenged by the Respondent, the Complainant was forced to admit that the brand had only been on the market for 4 years, that sales had been restricted to the USA and that sales over those four years had totaled under USD 60,000.
Had the Respondent failed to respond, there is a very real risk that the Panel, relying upon the 1993 International registration and the substantial sales volumes claimed for the brand, would have found in favor of the Complainant. This Complaint fell very far short of what the Panel was entitled to expect from a Complainant of this stature.
In all of the circumstances present here, the Panel finds that the Complainant has abused the process in an attempt at reverse domain name hijacking in contravention of the UDRP Rules at paragraph 15(e). The Panel majority also finds the Complainant has attempted reverse domain name hijacking because it must have known that the Respondent did not know of (nor had any reason to be aware of) any relevant trade mark rights in the SWASH name when the Respondent registered the disputed domain name in 2004."
Case #31 3dCafe.com Complainant is 3DCafe, Inc. (“Complainant”), represented by Danielle I. Mattessich of Merchant & Gould, P.C., Minnesota, USA. The panel finds "Complainant acted in bad faith. The Panel therefore makes a finding of reverse domain name hijacking."
Case #32 xPand.com The Complainant is X6D Limited of Limassol, Cyprus, represented by Bracewell & Giuliani LLP, United States of America. "The Panel therefore accepts the Respondent’s allegation that the Complainant is using the UDRP as an alternative purchase strategy after the acquisition of the disputed domain name failed. Therefore, the Panel finds that the Complaint was brought in bad faith, in an attempt of reverse domain name hijacking: The Complainant knew or should have known at the time it filed the Complaint that it could not prove that the domain name was registered in bad faith."
D. Reverse Domain Name Hijacking
Paragraph 1 of the Rules defines Reverse Domain Name Hijacking:
“Reverse Domain Name Hijacking means using the Policy in bad faith to attempt to deprive a registered domain-name holder of a domain name.”
The general conditions for a finding of bad faith on the part of a complainant are well stated in Smart Design LLC v. Carolyn Hughes, WIPO Case No. D2000-0993 (October 18, 2000):
“Clearly, the launching of an unjustifiable Complaint with malice aforethought qualifies, as would the pursuit of a Complaint after the Complainant knew it to be insupportable.”
These conditions are confirmed in Goldline International, Inc. v. Gold Line, WIPO Case No. D2000-1151 (January 4, 2001) and Sydney Opera House Trust v. Trilynx Pty. Limited, WIPO Case No. D2000-1224 (October 31, 2000) (where the condition is stated as “the respondent must show knowledge on the part of the complainant of the respondent’s right or legitimate interest in the disputed domain name and evidence of harassment or similar conduct by the complainant in the face of such knowledge”), which in turn cites Plan Express Inc. v. Plan Express, WIPO Case No. D2000-0565 (July 17, 2000).
The Complainant knew when it filed the Complaint that the registration of the disputed domain name preceded by several years any rights that the Complainant may have acquired in the mark WEB PASS. Indeed, the Complainant annexes a printout of the WhoIs registration to the Complaint, and that printout indicates that the domain name was created well before the Complainant’s first use in commerce of its mark. In this Panel’s view, this is sufficient to find reverse domain name hijacking. See NetDeposit, Inc. v. NetDeposit.com, WIPO Case No.D2003-0365 (July 22, 2003) (finding reverse domain name hijacking because “Respondent's domain name registration preceded the Complainant's creation of its trademark rights”).
The Panel finds that the Complainant has attempted Reverse Domain Name Hijacking.
The panel finds that Complainant has failed to present any evidence to support its claimed rights in the disputed domain name. It only provided an application for trademark registration which does not establish any enforceable rights under the UDRP. It did not offer any evidence to support a finding of common law rights in the disputed mark. Also, the Panel finds that Complainant knew or should have known that it was unable to prove that Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name or that Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith. Based on the foregoing, the panel finds that reverse domain name hijacking has occurred.
See NetDepositVerkaik v. Crownonlinemedia.com, D2001-1502 (WIPO Mar. 19, 2002) (“To establish reverse domain name hijacking, Respondent must show knowledge on the part of the complainant of the Respondent’s right or legitimate interest in the Domain Name and evidence of harassment or similar conduct by the Complainant in the fact of such knowledge.”); see also Labrada Bodybuilding Nutrition, Inc. v. Glisson, FA 250232 (Nat. Arb. Forum May 28, 2004) (finding that complainant engaged in reverse domain name hijacking where it used “the Policy as a tool to simply wrest the disputed domain name in spite of its knowledge that the Complainant was not entitled to that name and hence had no colorable claim under the Policy”).
Having failed to establish all three elements required under the ICANN Policy, the Panel concludes that relief shall be DENIED. The Panel further finds that Complainant engaged in Reverse Domain Name Hijacking."
Case #35 adjudicate.org.au The Complainant is Adjudicate Today Pty Limited of Mona Vale, New South Wales, Australia represented by Moray & Agnew, Australia. The domain, adjudicate.org.au. Futureworld Consultancy (Pty) Limited v. Online Advice, WIPO Case No. D2003-0297 states that a finding of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking may be made if the Complainant “knew or should have known at the time it filed the Complaint that it could not prove that the domain name was registered or used in bad faith”. Given that the Complainant would have been aware that the Respondent had a more than negligible adjudication business in Australia at the time the Complaint was filed, the Panel is of the opinion that the Complainant knew or should have known that it could not prove that the disputed domain name was registered in bad faith. Therefore, the Panel finds that this is an instance of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking.
Case #36 Joopa.com Complainant is Edward Smith (“Complainant”), represented by Kuscha Abhyanker of Raj Abhyanker P.C., California, USA. “the Complainant filed its trademark application shortly after it was unable to acquire the Disputed Domain Name from the Respondent on acceptable terms. "The panel finds that failing in this effort, the Complainant undertook to use the Policy to acquire the Disputed Domain Name.” “The panel finds that the Complaint has attempted reverse domain name hijacking in violation of the Rules.”
Case #37 PoliceAuction.com Complainant is Vortal Group, Inc. (“Complainant”), represented by Roger N. Behle Jr., of Behle Law Corporation, 575 Anton Boulevard, Suite 710, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. "Moreover, the Panel finds that filing a UDRP proceeding - which on its face can be qualified as frivolous - without any basis to do so should be construed in the present case as harassing. Here, Complainant admitted it knew that the domain name was registered prior to its using the at-issue mark in commerce. When, as in the present case, Complainant is unable to show trademark rights through use or otherwise which predate registration of the at-issue domain name, then it becomes impossible for it to prevail. In the case before the Panel, there is no way that Complainant could have reasonably expected to prevail and its counsel should have known better." Vortal Group, Inc. is a convicted Reverse Domain Name Hijacker and "counsel should have known better"
Case #38 Opulence.com Complainant is Horizon Publishing, LLC (“Complainant”), represented by Marc J. Kesten of Marc J. Kesten, P.L., Florida, USA.
Horizon Publishing, LLC of Fort Lauderdale, Florida is the latest to be labeled a REVERSE DOMAIN NAME HIJACKER by the governing body.
Case #39 Avayo.net Complainant is Avaya Inc. (“Complainant”), represented by Joseph Englander of Shutts & Bowen LLP, Florida, USA. “The Respondent correctly notes that the Complainant has previously filed domain name cases, and lost in two of such cases when it brought proceedings against legitimate businesses such as the Respondent. See Avaya Inc. v. Sudhir Sazena, FA 1229266 (Nat. Arb. Forum Dec. 9, 2008); and Avaya Inc. v. Moayyad Hamad, FA 1456063 (Nat. Arb. Forum Sept. 14, 2012). ” “Consequently, the Panel finds that the Complaint was submitted in an attempt to hijack Respondent’s domain name” Avaya Inc. is a convicted Reverse Domain Name Hijacker
Case #40 hivinnocencegrouptruth.com and hivinnocenceprojecttruth.com. Office of Medical & Scientific Justice, Inc. represented by Matthew H. Swyers of The Trademark Company, LLC, Virginia, USA. was found guilty of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking (RDNH) in attempted theft of the domain names.
Case #41 Complainant is the Honorable Ron Paul of Lake Jackson, Texas, United States of America, represented by LeClairRyan, United States of America." Ron Paul has been found GUILTY of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking. I certainly invite the congressman and/or the domain owner to comment here or even write a guest blog post.
Case #42 The Complainant is Ryan P. Boggs of Los Angeles, California, United States of America, represented by Molly Megee Hankins, ESQ., United States of America. The three person panel found (pdf) that Boggs “engaged in duplicitous dealings with the Respondent in relation to potential purchase of the disputed domain name”. "Complaint makes express and implied assertions that are false. These false assertions might have misled the Panel had not the Respondent provided the evidence, readily available to the Complainant, that refutes these assertions. Furthermore, it is simply not fair to require the Respondent to provide evidence establishing that the Complainant’s case is without basis when the Complainant must have, or at least should have, known this fact. The egregiousness of these deficiencies of the Complaint is compounded by the fact that the Complainant was represented by counsel. "
My hope is this is the last RDNH case I will ever have to post. The reality is this post will be re-posted EVERY SINGLE TIME there is a case of RDNH. Every time and now maybe some value based companies will think twice before flirting with this tactic and come to the bargaining table un good faith instead of being labeled forever with bad faith. The net is written in INK!
THOU SHALT NOT STEAL! Stop trying to steal and start doing BUSINESS! Feel free to repost FAR and WIDE!