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How Did the UDRP Panel In Not Find Reverse Domain Name Hijacking?
WEDNESDAY,5 AUGUST 2015 The Domains
According to the news from Domain Forum of China on August 5th,Chooser S.A. of Jodoigne, Belgium just lost its attempt to grab the domain name in a UDRP.

The Belgium company didn’t have any registered trademark but attempted to grab the domain name based on a “common law mark” they alleged but could not prove, that they owned the domain back in “2010 when due to an error by someone in the IT department they let the domain drop.”

The UDRP panel found the Complainant did not prove they owned the domain and even went as far to call the Complaint a “baseless attack.”


This cases facts are what Reverse Domain Name Hijacking is all about.

There is nothing in the opinion that indicates that this should have been a Reverse Domain Name Hijacking which the panelist didn’t even discuss.

Here are the highlights from the one member panel of Andrew J. Park:

The Complainant is Chooser, S.A., a Belgium company incorporated in 1999. The Complainant is in the business of developing online promotion of woodworking activities.

The Complainant alleges common law trademark rights in the CHOOSER mark because the mark corresponds to its corporate name and is used to provide services online.

The Complainant contends that it “can prove” an extended use of the CHOOSER mark in relation with an offer of services to Belgian clients since 1999.

The Complainant asserts that it registered the Domain Name sometime in 1998.

However, beginning 2010, the Complainant’s IT service provider “omitted to renew the registration of the ‘’ domain name.

The Complainant noticed the mistake of its IT supplier too late, since the Respondent had already registered the forgotten domain name …” The Complainant provides evidence supporting their prior registration of the Disputed Domain Name from November 2007 until November 2009.

According to the publicly available WhoIs database and confirmation by the Registrar, the Disputed Domain Name has been registered since September 18, 1998.

“”Based on the available evidence, the Panel finds that the Respondent registered the Disputed Domain Name on September 18, 1998. The earliest date of effect of the Complainant’s mark, as argued by the Complainant, is October 26, 1999 (date of incorporation).

The Complainant acknowledges that it has no evidence that it registered the Disputed Domain Name in 1998.

From this, it is evident that the Disputed Domain Name was registered by the Respondent before any trademark rights which the Complainant might establish.

Here, it appears from the evidence before the Panel that the Respondent cannot have sought to take advantage of the Complainant’s mark. When the Respondent registered the Disputed Domain Name in 1998, the Complainant had no mark.

Neither was there any evidence that, at that time, the Respondent knew or should have known that the Complainant was intending to use or register any potential mark.

Moreover, the Panel notes the following:

First, the Complainant alleged, without evidence, that it registered the Disputed Domain Name sometime in 1998. Yet, according to the WhoIs database, the Disputed Domain Name has been registered to the Respondent since September 18, 1998 – which was more than one year before the Complainant was even incorporated.

Second, even if the evidence established that the Complainant had common law rights created in the mark CHOOSER sometime in 1999, there is no evidence whatsoever that the Respondent know about the Complainant before September 18, 1998. The Complainant failed to explain how it is that a woodworking company using the name “chooser”, which is a generic term, has an entitlement to prevent others from using this term for a domain name related to a website in connection to its descriptive meaning.

Third, even assuming that the Complainant had common law rights in the mark, there is no evidence that the Respondent should have known of the Complainant prior to the Respondent’s registration of the Disputed Domain Name, and that the Respondent was targeting the Complainant. Indeed, it is recognized that there is generally no obligation for domain name registrants to conduct searches for rights in a name in other countries in the world.

Fourth, despite having the burden of proof and being given a second opportunity to submit evidence that it owned the Disputed Domain Name in 1998, the Complainant could notm even acknowledging that it lacked “formal evidence of a registration made by Complainant’s founder in 1998”. T

The Complainant then proceeded to baseless attack the veracity of the Respondent’s submission.

For these reasons, the Panel finds on balance that the Complainant has not established that the Disputed Domain Name was registered in bad faith.

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