The clothing company does not do proper research before filing a cybersquatting lawsuit.
A clothing company that sells under the Goodlife brand has been discovered (pdf) to have engaged in reverse domain name hijacking.
GL Concepts, LLC d/b/a Goodlife has filed a dispute with the World Intellectual Property Organization against the domain goodlife.com. The clothing company uses the GoodlifeClothing.com domain.
Goodlife.com was registered in 1998 and the Complainant only registered a trademark in 2015. He claimed first commercial use in 1999.
The plaintiff argued that the domain owner registered it in bad faith and “held the disputed unused domain name hostage for an exorbitant price,” but provided no evidence that the domain owner was attempting to sell the domain. domain.
Goodlife and his law firm, Ritholz Levy Fields LLP, failed some basic checks that might have helped him in the case. The Whois history for the domain shows that the current owner was not the original owner in 1998. Additionally, the current owner ran a clothing site on the domain for a few years.
The lawsuit might still have failed with this information (Good Life is, after all, a common phrase), but it might have avoided the discovery of reverse domain name hijacking (RDNH).
Panelist Assen Alexiev pointed this out in his RDNH conclusion:
The complainant is represented by a lawyer. He should have taken into account that the Respondent has owned the disputed domain name for a long period, which began seventeen years before the registration of the Complainant’s GOODLIFE mark and almost a year before its first use. commercial claim, and should have understood the established policy precedent that where a defendant registers a domain name before the plaintiff’s trademark rights have been acquired, panels will not normally find bad faith of the from the defendant. It would be up to the Complainant to put forward any fact justifying a claim to subsequent acquisition of the disputed domain name by the Respondent, if such fact exists. The Complainant should also have appreciated the absence of any evidence of the Respondent’s targeting of the Complainant through the use of the disputed domain name. In view of the foregoing, the Complainant should have understood that he would not be able to prevail on the issue of bad faith under the Policy.
Based on the foregoing, the Panel finds that Complainant engaged in reverse domain name hijacking.
Given the facts that Complainant apparently believed to be true, this was clearly a case of reverse domain name hijacking. But with the standard research that any law firm filing a case should undertake, it might have been able to avoid the RDNH filing.