Simple Plan group attempts to reverse domain name hijacking – domain name wire

The panel cites 8 false statements that it says Simple Plan Inc made in UDRP.

Simple Plan Inc’s plan to recover SimplePlan.com was not that simple.

The management company of Canadian music group Simple Plan was found to have engaged in reverse domain name hijacking in its attempt to reclaim the SimplePlan.com domain after it expired.

At first, you may sympathize with Simple Plan’s situation. He registered the domain name through a company that was apparently a Tucows reseller. This reseller’s website went offline when it was time to renew the domain. It has expired and has been auctioned through GoDaddy Auctions.

But Simple Plan decided to blame the person who won the domain in the auction, saying their plan was to “fraudulently hijack” the group’s domain and then demand a lot of money to transfer it.

The three-person National Arbitration Forum panel cited at least 8 false statements made by Simple Plan Inc. in this case.

Michel Rog says he acquired the domain name for his travel business. He is not a domain investor. Shortly after acquiring the domain, he forwarded it to his travel site tryp.com.

Just days after acquiring the domain, Simple Plan engaged GoDaddy to inquire about purchasing the domain. The group offered $ 5,000. Rog replied, “The name is not for sale unless someone is willing to offer at least $ 35,000. So if they can bid for that amount, I’d be willing to part with the name.

Yet Simple Plan argued that GoDaddy worked in the name of Rog, and demanded $ 35,000 plus 20% commission from GoDaddy.

One of the funniest lines from the UDRP can be found in Simple Plan’s second supplemental submission (he apparently submitted three):

Clearly, in bad faith, the Respondent thumbs his nose at the Forum and the Complainant in a totally unruly and venal manner consistent with his attempt to profit from his cybersquatting.

This is a bold statement from someone who filed a reverse domain name hijacking case!

The panel cited these false statements on the record, which contributed to their reverse domain name hijacking finding:

“Respondent who, acting anonymously through GoDaddy, is now asking $ 35,000.00, plus a 20% commission from GoDaddy, to transfer it back to the Complainant. “

“The domain name is also being offered for sale to the complainant on GoDaddy for $ 35,000 plus 20% commission! “

“Acting anonymously through GoDaddy, the defendant asks for 35,000.00 (USD) to resell the domain name held by the plaintiff for 20 years to the plaintiff. “

“The bad faith of the respondent is also demonstrated by his affirmative acts to withdraw and allow the complainant’s domain name to expire, and then charge 35,000 (USD) plus 20% interest to recover it. “

“In the facts and circumstances of this case, the Respondent’s intention is, and the outrageous actions are, to unfairly and fraudulently hijack the Complainant’s simpleplan.com domain name and resell it to the Complainant at a grossly inflated cost. “

“The Respondent communicated his requests through his agent, GoDaddy, the Broker and Registrar. Since GoDaddy was the Respondent’s agent, the 20% commission charged to the Complainant was in fact paid on behalf of the Respondent to add to the already excessive price. “

“The defendant owns the plaintiff’s domain name ‘simpleplan’ which the plaintiff has used for his business for decades, has hijacked it himself and demands exorbitant sums to return it to the plaintiff, who has held it for 20 years. year.”

“The Respondent argues that because he went through his registrar and agent Go Daddy to offer the domain name simpleplan.com for sale to the Complainant by the Respondent for $ 35,000, plus a 20% commission for GoDaddy – $ 52,500 [sic], an amount much higher than the disbursements of a domain name, it lacks bad faith. This argument is fallacious. The Respondent’s own evidence shows communications between him and GoDaddy in which the Respondent expressly authorized GoDaddy to resell simpleplan.com to the Complainant for this exorbitant amount. This shows bad faith use of the complainant’s SIMPLE PLAN mark.

Scarinci Hollenbeck represented Simple Plan Inc. Howard Neu represented Rog.