Domain name dispute resolved in favor of BitMEX

HDR Global Trading Limited v. Super Privacy Service LTD v/o Dynadot, 2019 NAFDD LEXIS 1176 (Decision August 30, 2019)[NMR]

Another week, another CCM article that illustrates the importance of brands. A brand is many things. Sure, there are trademark filings, for things like company names, product names, logos, slogans, but there are also issues related to domain names, social media, etc. This filing is related to a domain name dispute and the filing is another entry into the narrative that The Space is slowly maturing.

This process was conducted under ICANN’s Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy. What are ICANN and UDNDRP? ICANN is the non-profit organization that manages IP numbers and the domain name system. The UDNDRP is the system in place to manage domain disputes. If that sounds familiar, dear reader, it’s because Drew Hinkes wrote an excellent guest post on a domain name dispute in CCM #24. This article involved a crypto exchange, Bittrex, just like this one. Great, who’s involved?

The plaintiff, i.e. the entity that initiated these proceedings, is the mega crypto company HDR Global Trading Limited, but you may know them as BitMEX. Dynadot is a San Mateo, California-based company that offers a variety of services related to buying a domain name, hosting a domain, and other related services. What happened here? Well, Dynadot registered a domain name and Bitmex didn’t like that.

On July 19, 2019, BitMEX applied for trademark registration for Bitmex Nakamoto as part of additional offerings in its business. Four days later, Dynadot registered the domain name. On August 2, BitMEX initiated this procedure and on August 5, Dynadot confirmed receipt of the complaint. Now you might be wondering why is all this happening? Well, as stated in that decision, Dynadot “is bound by the Dynadot, LLC Registration Agreement and has thus agreed to resolve domain disputes brought by third parties in accordance with the Uniform Name Dispute Resolution Policy. ICANN domain”. This means that Dynadot is bound by the decision of the UDNDRP process and cannot say that it was unfairly involved in this matter. Domain name companies register many domain names. What’s the problem ?

Turns out Dynadot registered the domain name and then immediately started redirecting people to a site that lists Bitmex Nakamoto as being for sale for $3,900. This, as the ruling shows, was an indication of bad faith registration, and one of the reasons the UDNDRP ordered the domain transferred to BitMEX.

Mind you, we haven’t talked about Dynadot’s response to the original complaint other than acknowledging its existence and admitting that they were related to the UDNDRP process. In fact, Dynadot didn’t even file a response via the UDNDRP, why? Who knows but, well, sometimes you know your goose is done and there’s no point in fighting. Maybe that was why.

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