HDT.com: why no reverse domain name hijacking? – Domain name thread

This looks like a case of Plan B reverse domain name hijacking.

A panelist from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) came out in favor of the owner of hdt.com in a UDRP, but did not consider whether it was domain name hijacking reverse. This appears to be a classic case of “Plan B” reverse domain name hijacking.

HDT Software Limited of Ireland has filed a complaint against domain investor Bryan Graves. HDT was represented internally and John Berryhill represented the domain owner.

Here is a summary of the case:

  • Respondent bought the domain for $8,500 at an auction in 2013
  • The complainant inquired about purchasing the domain before launching his business. He offered $11.00 in July 2015, but the domain owner wanted more
  • The plaintiff then created the company “HDT” in August 2015
  • Defendant received an offer to purchase $120,000 through Afternic in 2020 and emailed prior interested parties, including Plaintiff. The Complainant said it was too much for his budget but still thanked the Respondent “for the warning!”
  • Complainant files for trademark, then UDRP files

Panelist Stephanie Hartung correctly found that the domain was unregistered and used in bad faith. However, its decision does not specify whether it is a case of reverse domain name hijacking (RDNH). I am told that the additional filings from both parties (which the panelist accepted) were about RDNH.

It seems like lately I’ve been asking the question, “Why wasn’t this RDNH?” more often. WIPO does not offer NHDR statistics on its website, but ICANN recently compiled them for its UDRP Status Report and found that NHDR cases were increasing. Although the RDNH does not come with a monetary penalty, it is an important point of discussion as the community considers the UDRP.