Complainant’s Mere Holding of Domain Name Does Not Provide Trademark Rights – ICA UDRP Digest – Vol 3.2

Ankur Raheja UDRP Case Summaries

We hope you will enjoy this edition of the Digest (Vol. 3.2), as we review these noteworthy recent decisions, with commentary from our General Counsel, Zak Muscovitch:

Complainant’s Mere Holding of Domain Name Does Not Provide Trademark Rights (mojac .com *plus comment)

‘No Reasonable Case’ That Respondent Could Have Registered Domain Name in Bad Faith (matajer .com *plus comment)

Trademark rights in the Arabic word for “shops” – Inclination or Evidence? (matajer .org *plus comment)

A Clear Case of Typo-squatting on a Well-Known Brand and Phishing
(benltey .com *plus comment)

Trademark Applications Alone Do Not Establish Trademark Rights Under the Policy (deeded .com)


Register today for “The Great Debate Over Domain Name Disputes,” scheduled for January 31, 2023 (12:30 PM EST). In this session, internet law experts will discuss controversial domain name arbitration topics for information and enjoyment. Register here.


This Digest was Prepared Using UDRP.Tools and Gerald Levine’s Treatise, Domain Name Arbitration.

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Complainant’s Mere Holding of Domain Name Does Not Provide Trademark Rights

John McGinnis Halliday Gibson v. Domain Admin, WIPO Case No. D2022-4274

<mojac .com>

Panelist: Mr. Assen Alexiev

Brief Facts: The Complainant was the director of a UK company, Mojac Limited, during the period 1994 – 2013 (dissolved on September 6, 2013). While he was the director, he registered the disputed Domain Name on November 18, 1998 but failed to renew it in late 2021. The Complainant states that he does not have any registered rights for MOJAC and does not trade in this capacity but as he was holding the disputed Domain Name for a significant period, hence he has obtained rights in it. The Respondent acquired the disputed Domain Name on expiry in early 2022 and listed it for sale for USD $19,999.

The Complainant further argues that the narrative part of the disputed Domain Name “MoJac” was created by the joining of the Complainant’s and his wife’s names and holds significant sentimental value and he owns more similar domain names including <mojac .co .uk>, that he uses for email and a website.

Held: In the absence of any information or evidence about any commercial activities of the Complainant or the company Mojac Limited, there is no basis for a finding that the Complainant had any interactions with consumers and acquired any unregistered trademark rights that may be relevant to the present proceeding. The mere registration of the disputed Domain Name and its maintenance, even for a long period, is not in itself sufficient for such a finding, as it does not show that even the Complainant, let alone third parties, has associated the disputed Domain Name with any product or service offered by him.

The Complainant also explains that the narrative part of the disputed Domain Name “MoJac” was created by the joining of the Complainant’s and his wife’s names and holds significant sentimental value. As discussed above in this section, for the same reason there is no basis for a finding that the personal names, as such, of the Complainant and his spouse may provide a standing of the Complainant to file a UDRP case. For the above reasons, the Panel finds that the Complainant fails to establish that he has rights in a trademark for the purposes of the Policy, and therefore the Complainant does not have the required standing to file the Complaint.

RDNH: The Complainant clearly ought to have known it could not succeed under any fair interpretation of facts reasonably available prior to the filing of the complaint, and basing a complaint on only the barest of allegations without any supporting evidence. Given the undertakings in terms of the UDRP Rules, some panels have held that a represented complainant should be held to a higher standard.

Taking into account the above and the findings in this case, the Panel concludes that the Complaint was brought in bad faith and constitutes an abuse of the administrative proceeding.

Complaint Denied (RDNH)

Complainants’ Counsel: Blackadders LLP, United Kingdom
Respondents’ Counsel: Grant Carpenter, United States

Case Comment by Zak Muscovitch: Any lawyer reasonably familiar with the UDRP would have easily appreciated that the Complainant had no genuine case to bring. Yet it was brought anyhow and the Panel rightly found RDNH. Blackadders, the firm which brought the UDRP proceeding does not appear in UDRP.tools to have been counsel in any UDRP cases before and its website appears to indicate that it is not an IP firm, but rather focuses on family law, property law, and general dispute resolution. Did Complainant’s counsel nonetheless have an obligation to familiarize itself with the UDRP and the associated case law before commencing the proceeding?

I have written before in the Digest, including in last week’s issue, that more often than not, Complainant counsel is the one that is truly responsible for RDNH given that Complainants are not themselves likely to be familiar with the UDRP and the associated case law regarding RDNH, but rather rely upon counsel. In this particular case, it may be that Complainant’s counsel could be faulted for not familiarizing itself with the UDRP before commencing a proceeding, which is in contrast to a situation where counsel clearly knew better yet proceeding headlong anyhow. In either case though, there is a basis for a Panel finding fault with not only the Complainant who brought the proceeding, but also with its counsel upon whom the Complainant relied. But what of a circumstance where counsel warns its client that proceeding would be ill-advised and the Complainant insists on proceeding anyhow? Where proceeding would clearly involve bringing an abusive proceeding it would necessarily involve imposing upon counsel to breach a common legal ethic or code of conduct not to do so, and counsel must decline. Moreover, bringing an abusive proceeding would breach the Certification required pursuant to Rule 3(xiii) of the UDRP Rules:

“Complainant certifies that the information contained in this Complaint is to the best of Complainant’s knowledge complete and accurate, that this Complaint is not being presented for any improper purpose, such as to harass, and that the assertions in this Complaint are warranted under these Rules and under applicable law, as it now exists or as it may be extended by a good-faith and reasonable argument.”

As you can see, it is nominally the Complainant’s own certification however Rule 15 states that “the signature [can be of] of the Complainant or its authorized representative”. Where counsel signs on behalf of the Complainant in connection with an abusive Complaint, arguably counsel has taken on more responsibility than if the Complainant’s signed itself. On the other hand, regardless of who signs the certification, a Complainant counsel’s ethical responsibility to not bring an abusive proceeding remains.

In last week’s BeautyGarde case, the Panel noted that the RDNH finding was likely the fault of the Complainant’s counsel, though formally declared that it was “the Complaint [which] was brought in bad faith”. This declaration is perfectly consistent with the precise language of Rule 15, which mandates that if a Panel finds that a Complaint was brought in bad faith, “the Panel shall declare in its decision that the complaint was brought in bad faith and constitutes an abuse of the administrative proceeding” [emphasis added]. As such, pursuant to Rule 15, such declarations must be made in relation to the Complaint itself. There is no provision for a declaration to be made against the Complainant per se or against the Complainant’s counsel, though of course the Complainant and/or its counsel can be ultimately at fault.

Accordingly, given the language of Rule 15 it appears that the correct approach is to do as the Panel did in the BeautyGarde case by following the letter of Rule 15 by making the declaration that the Complaint itself was brought in bad faith. Nevertheless, as was also done in the BeautyGarde case, it remains open to Panels to additionally lay fault with the responsible party or parties, which may include the Complainant and also its counsel where appropriate.


‘No Reasonable Case’ That Respondent Could Have Registered Domain Name in Bad Faith

Majid Al Futtaim Properties LLC v. Ayman Bajnaid, WIPO Case No. D2022-4129

<matajer .com>

Panelist: Mr. Andrew S. Lothian

Brief Facts: The Complainant is part of the Majid Al Futtaim group of companies, established in 1992, which has operations in 15 countries and employs more than 40,000 people. The Complainant is a developer of shopping malls, hotels, and mixed-use community projects in the Middle East and North Africa.  It is presently the owner and operator of 29 shopping malls, 13 hotels, and five mixed-use communities, and has further developments underway.

The Complainant commenced use of its MATAJER brand in connection with the operation of the Complainant’s “Matajer Al Quoz” mall which opened in October 2011. The Complainant and its joint venture “Sharjah Holding Co. PJSC”, own trademark registrations which the Complainant describes as MATAJER AL RAHMANIVA and MATAKER AL MUSALLA. The disputed Domain Name was registered on August 2, 1999 but does not resolve to an active website. The Saudi Arabia based Respondent maintains that it is the original registrant of the disputed Domain Name and exhibits the renewal notices for the disputed Domain Name received on August 12, 2001, and on March 6, 2008.

The Respondent contends that “Matajer” refers to the Arabic word ( متاجر ) which means “shops” in Arabic and the disputed Domain Name was registered in 1999, long before the registration of the Complainant’s trademarks. The Respondent further contends that the Complainant knew there is no plausible basis for this Complaint and is culpable for reverse domain name hijacking.

Held: It is generally accepted that for a finding of bad faith to be made, there must be a degree of targeting of the Complainant or its mark, and/or at least that the Respondent must have had the Complainant or its trademark in mind when registering the disputed Domain Name. The Respondent demonstrates to the Panel’s satisfaction that he owned the disputed Domain Name since 1999, that is, around a decade before the Complainant adopted the MATAJER trademark. In these circumstances, there is no reasonable case that the Respondent could have registered the disputed Domain Name in anticipation of the Complainant’s trademark rights coming into being. In these circumstances, the disputed Domain Name cannot have been registered in bad faith within the meaning of the Policy. It is unnecessary to examine the question of use in bad faith as the Complainant must demonstrate the conjunctive elements of both registration and use in bad faith to make out a case under the third element.

RDNH: It is clear that the Complainant knew that the original registration date of the disputed Domain Name was August 2, 1999, however, in an attempt to bring the Respondent’s likely date of acquisition closer to the date on which the Complainant began to use the MATAJER trademark, the Complainant notes that the first available historic WhoIs record that it could find showing the Respondent’s interest dates from March 20, 2011. As this record shows a “last updated” date of March 5, 2008, the Complainant speculates that the Respondent must have acquired the disputed Domain Name at that time. This date, therefore, is the foundation of the Complainant’s allegation of registration in bad faith. However, even if the Respondent had acquired the disputed Domain Name as late as March 2008, there is no stateable case to be made that the Respondent was thereby seeking to target the Complainant’s then non-existent rights.

The Complainant knew, or should have known, that the foundations of its case on registration in bad faith were on less than solid ground unless it could identify that the disputed Domain Name was acquired by the Respondent after it established its rights in the MATAJER mark, or in anticipation of these coming into being. The Complainant is represented by professional advisers in this proceeding, and it is clear from the cases listed in the Complaint, and the citations made to the WIPO Overview 3.0, that the Complainant either was, or ought to have been, familiar with the Policy and associated jurisprudence. In all of these circumstances, a finding of RDNH is merited in this case, and the Panel declares that the Complaint was brought in bad faith and constitutes abuse of these administrative proceedings.

Complaint Denied (RDNH)

Complainants’ Counsel: Talal Abu Ghazaleh Legal, Egypt
Respondents’ Counsel: Self-represented  

Case Comment by ICA General Counsel, Zak Muscovitch:

As reported by Domain Name Wire (DNW), this is the third time that the law firm of Talal Abu Ghazaleh has brought an RDNH Complaint. DNW notes that, “Last month, the Complainant was found to have tried to reverse hijack matajer.net. In 2021, it tried to reverse hijack citycentre.com”.

Unfortunately, Talal Abu Ghazaleh is not the only law firm to have earned this questionable distinction. UDRP.tools shows that two other Law firms have also brought three abusive complaints each (see here and here).


Trademark rights in the Arabic word for “shops” – Inclination or Evidence?

Majid Al Futtaim Properties LLC v. Saud Alansary, WIPO Case No. D2022-4107

<matajer .org>

Panelist: Ms. Karen Fong

Brief Facts: The Complainant and its Group of companies own and run shopping malls, retail, leisure, and community spaces in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. This includes various shopping malls under the brand name MATAJER. The Group includes the Complainant’s joint venture partner, Sharjah Holdings Co PJSC (“SHCP”). Their flagship mall, “Matajer Al Quoz” opened in October 2011, followed by “Matajer Al Juraina”, “Matajer Al Khan”, and “Matajer Al Mirgab” in 2012. The MATAJER brand is registered as a trademark in various forms, the earliest registration includes UAE trademark which was registered on January 3, 2012. The Complainant owns and operates the domain name <matajersharjah .com> since 2016, which contains information about MATAJER malls.

The Respondent registered the Domain Name on September 4, 2017, which does not resolve to an active website but previously resolved to a pay-per-click (“PPC”) webpage with links to the websites of third parties from the UAE region. The Respondent provides as evidence receipts for the payment of the registration and renewal fees for the Domain Name, along with a number of other domain names consisting entirely of the term “matajer” in various Top-Level Domains. The Respondent further identifies the Domain Name and its portfolio of “matajer”-formative domain names as an “online store domain” or “online stores” respectively.

Held: The Panel takes note of the findings of the panel in Majid Al Futtaim Properties LLC v. Ayman Bajnaid, [WIPO Case No. D2022-4130], involving the same Complainant relying on the same rights, but with clear differences to the present proceeding. The panel in that case noted that “matajer” transliterated / translated to “shops” in Arabic. Taking into consideration the fact that “materjer” means shops in Arabic, Respondent’s purported residence in an Arabic-speaking country and his argument that the domain name references an online store, there could perhaps have been a connection between the Respondent’s registration of a portfolio of “matajer” domain names, including the disputed Domain Name, and the dictionary meaning of the term “matajer” . But the Panel finds that the fact that the Complainant was operating several malls under the different Matajer-formed names at the time of the registration of the disputed Domain Name, and the promotion of the Complainant’s malls, incline the balance in favor of the Complainant.

Moreover, the Complainant’s correlated registrations for the Trademark in various jurisdictions throughout the Middle East that predate the registration of the Domain Name, it stretches credulity that the Respondent registered the Domain Name without awareness of the Complainant and due to the generic value of the term “matajer”. In light of the above, the Panel finds that the Respondent deliberately registered the Domain Name in bad faith with the intent to mislead Internet users as to the Domain Name’s association with the Complainant. The Panel also finds that the actual use of the Domain Name is in bad faith. The Website was a PPC site, which might have been deliberately set up for the commercial benefit of the Respondent or automatically generated by the Registrar, but the Respondent ultimately bears responsibility for the content. The PPC links were for “Dubai Sharjah Uae”, “Uae in Dubai”, and “Dubai Trading Company”. The websites consist of PPC links that do not relate to the dictionary meaning of the term “matajer”.

This reinforces the Panel’s view that the Respondent registered the Domain Name for the sole purposes of generating undue commercial gain from unsuspecting Internet users expecting the Complainant and engaging with the confusingly similar Domain Name. The Domain Name is likely to confuse Internet users trying to find the Complainant’s website. Such confusion will inevitably result due to the fact that the disputed Domain Name contains the dominant portion of the Complainant’s Trade Mark.

Transfer

Complainants’ Counsel: Talal Abu Ghazaleh Legal, Egypt
Respondents’ Counsel: Self-represented

Case Comment by ICA General Counsel, Zak Muscovitch: I agree with the Panelist in this case that she was perfectly entitled to adjudge this case based upon its particular facts, notwithstanding the outcome in the previous Matajer case. That being said, I am uncertain that she came to the correct outcome. If “matajer” means “shops” in transliterated Arabic as it appears to, then any company that adopts such a generic term cannot possibly claim exclusivity to this term to the exclusion of all others, when it comes to its use in connection with its generic meaning – unless the term is demonstrated to have acquired a secondary meaning such that it effectively ceased to mean “shops” and now refers exclusively or at least predominantly to a particular party.

In any event, it appears (though is somewhat unclear from the decision) that the term, MATAJER, is not held by the Complainant alone as a word mark. Rather, the Complainant’s trademarks always contain MATAJER along with other words, such or a design, which is not surprising as registration of MATAJER alone (meaning shops) in connection with shopping malls, would seem contrary to trademark law prohibitions on registration of merely descriptive terms.

For our American readers, perhaps a good example is MALL OF AMERICA, which holds a registered word trademark based upon acquired distinctiveness pursuant to Section 2(f). This application was originally refused because the mark was merely descriptive but was subsequently obtained on the basis of acquired distinctiveness. If someone says, MALL OF AMERICA, they are referring to the particular shopping mall brand. But if someone says, “mall”, no one would necessarily take the reference to mean the particular MALL OF AMERICA shopping mall brand, but rather the generic dictionary term.

So if a domain name registrant registered, Mall[.org], would the MALL OF AMERICA have any reasonable claim to it? Would its mark even be considered confusingly similar? Would the registrant have an inherent legitimate interest in such a generic-term domain name? Would links appearing in connection with Mall[.org] have any bearing on the case if they didn’t even relate to malls or had links to businesses in Minnesota where the Mall of America is located? Wouldn’t the Respondent have actually registered domains such as “MatajerAlJuraina[.com]” if he was a cybersquatter?

In this case there was no apparent pattern of cybersquatting. There was no apparent solicitation of the Complainant. There was no clear targeting of the Complainant via PPC links about shopping malls. Ultimately, all we apparently have here is a Complainant who has no exclusive right to the dictionary term, MATAJER, alone and at most, three PPC links on what appears to be an automatically generated Godaddy holding page that do not even related to shopping malls, but related to the UAE, where the Complainant is located. It is likely that the Godaddy algorithm used to generate the PPC links correlated the word “mall” with the Complainant, but that does not necessarily equate with a secondary meaning absent actual evidence of the Complainant acquiring distinctiveness in the term alone. Furthermore, if the Respondent had wanted to target the Complainant with PPC, surely he would have had PPC links related to shopping rather than totally unrelated. In any event, these PPC links related to the UAE are not even evidence of the reason for the registrant having registered the Domain Name in the first place. Just because the Complainant had trademarks that included the dictionary word, MATAJER, does not mean that the only value in this term is to the Complainant.

Ultimately, I think this was a transfer order which was based on evidence so weak that the Panel fell into the trap of relying upon not much more than an “inclination”. Indeed, the Panelist implicitly acknowledged as much when she stated that the fact that the Complainant was operating malls under Matajer-formative names which were promoted, “incline the balance in favor of the Complainant”. Such inclinations based upon such weak and equivocal evidence do not make the “clear cut” case that the UDRP was intended for, and as such the Complaint likely ought to have been dismissed. Where nothing more than an ”inclination” or what amounts to a guess based upon a highly subjective “balance of convenience” which barely crosses the 50% mark if at all, a Panelist should generally dismiss a Complaint rather than transfer away someone’s domain name. As noted in Digest Volume 2.45, Panelist and Professor Lawrence Nodine stated in an article published for WIPO’s Advisory Committee on Enforcement (Tenth Session, Geneva, November 23 to 25, 2015), the UDRP is limited to “clear cut” cases for good reason:

“Especially in a dispute system which is mandatory for the defending party, it is vital for the credibility and enforceability of the results that they be as uncontroversial as possible. This purpose is served by the UDRP’s limitation to clear cases of bad-faith behavior. The system is not designed to address claims against Respondents which, for example, have legitimate competing trademark rights, but rather aims to resolve clear cases of cybersquatting, which preserves fairness.”

I am further concerned that the Panelist assumed acquired distinctiveness in MATAJER, without any apparent evidence, let alone evidence of confusion:

“It is highly likely that Internet users when typing the Domain Name into their browser, or finding them through a search engine would have been looking for a site operated by the Complainant rather than the Respondent. The Domain Name is likely to confuse Internet users trying to find the Complainant’s website.  Such confusion will inevitably result due to the fact that the Domain Name contains the dominant portion of the Complainant’s Trade Mark.”

There was no apparent evidence of such acquired distinctiveness in the word, MATAJER alone that someone would enter it intending to find the Complainant’s website.


A Clear Case of Typo-squatting on a Well-Known Brand and Phishing

Bentley Systems, Incorporated v. Anton Rodyanskiy, NAF Claim Number: FA2212002022830

<benltey .com>

Panelist: Mr. Steven M. Levy, Esq.

Brief Facts: The Complainant is a software development company that creates computer aided design (CAD) and other software applications tailored to the design and maintenance of infrastructure. It operates a website at <bentley .com> and owns rights in the trademark BENTLEY through its use in commerce and registrations in various jurisdictions, such as the USPTO, the EUIPO, and others. The disputed Domain Name was registered on August 24, 2022.

The Complainant provides a screenshot of the website at the disputed Domain Name showing that it resolves to a “Sign In” screen that is nearly identical to a previous “Sign In” page used by the Complainant and also displays the BENTLEY mark in the same green logo graphic as used by the Complainant… below this, Respondent’s website contains two blank fields into which users are invited to input their email address and password and then click on a green “Sign In” button.

The Complainant alleges that the Respondent registered and uses the <benltey .com> domain name in bad faith by trading off of Complainant’s goodwill in the BENTLEY mark, deceiving customers and disrupting business through a site that mimics Complainant as part of a phishing scheme. The Respondent did not file a response.

Held: When a user inputs their email address and password at the disputed Domain Name and clicks on the “Sign In” button, they are redirected to a page at the Wikipedia.org website titled “Typosquatting”. The Complainant claims that, by employing this redirect, “Respondent appears to flaunt their typosquatting to their victims once they have tricked them into revealing confidential information.” The Respondent did not file a Response or made any other submission in this case and so it does not dispute this characterization of its actions.

The Complainant presented a prima facie case that the Respondent is passing itself off and confusing customers by mimicking Complainant’s website, it finds, by a preponderance of the available evidence, that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests as it is not making a bona fide offering of goods or services nor is it making a legitimate non-commercial or fair use of the disputed Domain Name under the Policy. The Panel finds sufficient evidence upon which to conclude that the Respondent is passing itself off as the Complainant and taking advantage of the BENTLEY mark in an attempt at phishing the login credentials of unsuspecting users. This clearly supports a finding of bad faith registration and use under Policy.

Transfer

Complainants’ Counsel: James A. Blanchette of Cesari & McKenna LLP, Massachusetts, USA
Respondents’ Counsel: No Response

Case Comment by ICA General Counsel, Zak Muscovitch: 

Fortunately, Panelist Steven M. Levy has provided us this week with the perfect counterpoint to the unclear case of Matajer discussed above. This case is quintessentially what the UDRP was intended to address and is best used for; clear cases; This case concerned typo-squatting on a well-known brand with clear evidence of targeting because of the phishing scheme.


Trademark Applications Alone Do Not Establish Trademark Rights Under the Policy

Deeded Inc. v. Eric Rabkin/ ICSID Lawyers LLC, CIIDRC Case No. 18538-UDRP

<deeded .com>

Panelist: Mr. David Kreider

Brief Facts: The Canadian Complainant, incorporated on October 8, 2019, provides a technology platform connecting customers looking to buy, sell or refinance a home, with real estate lawyers. The Complainant describes itself as “the owner of Canadian trademark applications 2108628 and 2108629 for DEEDED and GETDEEDED”. The Complainant contends that it launched a website at the domain <deeded .ca> in January 2020, and at all time since operated under the trade name DEEDED using the DEEDED mark as well as a stylized logo, which are displayed on its website. The Complainant further contends it invested over $1,000,000 in promoting and advertising its services and received considerable public recognition in respect of its services in Canada. The Respondent purchased the Domain Name from the original registrant for the sum of CAD 17,158.65 on April 13, 2022.

The Complainant alleges that the Domain Name was registered in bad faith by the Respondent to misdirect internet traffic intended for the Complainant’s website <deeded .ca> to its own website competing for the same consumers and that the disputed Domain Name incorporates the entire Complainant’s trademark DEEDED which the Complainant has been using extensively for three and a half years.

The Respondent contends that he has a legitimate interest in using the disputed Domain Name in its plain English meaning as a tool to legitimately drive traffic to its real estate law firm website. The Respondent further contends: “The elevated cost of securing the ‘.com’ domain may have been a deterrent for the Complainant… [The Complainant] cannot now seek to indirectly acquire the Domain [Name] through a frivolous UDRP proceeding”.

Held: It is well-accepted in UDRP jurisprudence that a trademark application alone cannot establish rights in a mark. The Panel notes at the outset that the term “DEEDED”, in connection with real estate related services, is entirely descriptive, and is a transitive verb in the English language. Accordingly, there is a greater onus on the Complainant to present evidence of acquired distinctiveness/secondary meaning. However, the Panel finds the evidence provided by the Complainant insufficient to establish that the Complainant enjoys unregistered trademark rights under the UDRP in the term “DEEDED”.

The Complainant’s evidence consists of an undated screenshot of the Complainant’s website, which it describes as “current” and “representative”, at <deeded .ca>. In the event, no evidence is provided to show how the Complainant’s website appeared before the Respondent’s purchase of the Domain Name on April 13, 2022, or how it looked in the period leading to the filing of the Complaint. While the Complainant adduced several articles from real estate and mortgage industry publications, and social media screenshots, which refer to the Complainant, Deeded, Inc., and its co-founder and director, Reuven Gorsht.

However, the Complainant neither provided any information on actual or former sales under the DEEDED mark, nor any evidence showing how the $1,000,000 was purportedly spent on promoting and advertising its services in relation to the mark. As the Complainant failed to adduce sufficient and credible evidence of any rights in the mark “DEEDED” under the first element of the Policy, which deals with the Complainant’s standing to pursue these administrative proceedings.

RDNH: The Panel observes in connection with Complainant’s trademark applications, that the CIPO had issued a “Pre-Assessment Letter”, wherein column “Comments” reads “Goods or Services Not Acceptable”. The Complainant did not mention in its submission having received any such letter, however, the Respondent submitted more recent copies of the Complainant’s same trademark applications, which reflect that the Complainant had subsequently removed any reference to “legal services” as a class of goods or services it provides. Because of the Complainant’s failure to submit the complete record of its trademark registration applications to the Canadian authority, the Panel finds the Complainant’s evidence incomplete and misleading.

Further, given that the disputed Domain Name was available for purchase on the open internet at various times after the Creation Date and it did acquire other similar domain names. Here, the Panel concurs with the Respondent that the Complainant should rightly be faulted for subjecting the Respondent to the expense and burden of a UDRP proceeding based on a bare-bones Complaint, lacking supporting evidence, and for adducing incomplete and misleading evidence, especially when represented by counsel. Therefore, the Panel finds that the Complainant brought the Complaint in bad faith in an attempt at Reverse Domain Name Hijacking.

Complaint Denied (RDNH)

Complainants’ Counsel: John H. Simpson
Respondents’ Counsel: Scott Miller