Wow, Just Wow: That BFD.com Domain Dispute – Domain Name Wire

The plaintiff must believe he has a crystal ball.

A three-person National Arbitration Forum panel rejected a UDRP filed against the BFD.com domain name, but declined to find reverse domain name hijacking. And this case is a doozy.

BFD, Inc. and Barefoot Dreams, Inc. sued Kanggeng Sheng.

Complainant, who argues that he has rights to the trademark dating from 2019 or 2020, argued: “Respondent likely plans to use the disputed domain name to offer infringing or unauthorized versions of Complainant’s products. .”

Wait what?

When he filed the case, the complainant did not know the identity of the owner of the domain. On what basis would you say someone acquired a valuable three-letter domain with many uses to specifically sell counterfeit products of a new brand?

The plaintiff thought the domain was acquired this year, but it turns out the owner of the domain acquired it in 2018. I can see why before filing the case, the plaintiff thought he had changed hands this year. But that doesn’t matter; making such a wild accusation about the intentions of the domain owner without proof is not justified.

The panel correctly determined that the domain was not registered and used in bad faith. But he refused to find a reverse domain name hijack. He wrote:

The respondent’s name has been withheld by the privacy service. It only appeared in Respondent’s Supplemental Submission that Respondent acquired the disputed domain name in August 2018. The date Respondent became the registrant of the disputed domain name was material to Complainant, but it did not only belatedly revealed in the present proceedings. Therefore, the complaint as originally filed was not doomed to failure.

OK, I’ll give some leniency here. If the Respondent had disclosed his date of ownership in the original filing, the Complainant should have withdrawn his filing because it was doomed. I don’t know why the domain owner waited for an additional submission, but he doesn’t appear to have been represented by a lawyer.

But if you’re filing a UDRP against an inherently valuable three-letter domain name, you better have a really strong case. Not a crystal ball vision of what the domain owner plans to do with the domain.