The owner of the domain did not file a formal response, but the panelist used common sense to decide in his favor.
This morning I wrote about a panelist who didn’t consider reverse domain name hijacking. Now I would like to give credit to a panelist for using common sense in a UDRP.
Panelist Sok Ling MOI ruled in favor of the owner of MC5.com. This is despite the fact that the domain owner has not filed a formal response to the case.
Wayne Kramer is an American guitarist who co-founded the Detroit rock band Motor City 5 (MC5) in the 1960s. He has certain rights to the Mc5 trademark; he registered it as a US trademark last year with a claimed date of first use of 1967.
But the China-based domain name owner had probably never heard of Kramer and MC5. And the registrant is clearly marketing short domain names made up of numbers and letters. Sok Ling wrote:
The disputed domain name redirects to a landing page offering it for sale. The website of the disputed domain name also promotes the respondent’s website at “www.08123.com”, where Internet users can buy short domain names made up of letters and/or numbers. Therefore, the defendant appears to be in the business of investing in domain names and selling short domain names, which could be a legitimate business. Accordingly, it would appear that the Respondent acquired the disputed domain name because of its value as a short domain name rather than because of its significance as a trademark owned/used by the Complainant.
It’s common sense. It is highly unlikely that the registrant acquired the domain to target the complainant. Still, there are instances where panelists bend over backwards to help the complainant, especially when the domain owner does not file a formal response. Congratulations to the panelist in this case.