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Guilty! Reverse Domain Name Hijacking… only $5,000 ?

According to DomainNameNews today, a company has been found guilty of a Reverse Domain Name Hijack attempt, which carries a fine of $5,000. The report says this is the first time a company has been found guilty of that charge, which I find remarkable. More remarkable, however, is the mere $5,000 fine! The legal fees for defending against claims and attacks like these has got to be that much, if not more.

In this case, someone held ForSale.ca back in 2000. Globe Media registered the trademark “www.ForSale.ca” which was awarded in 2006, and Globe subsequently sought control of the domain. Since the original registration preceeded the trademark, they were denied rights to the domain.

But Globe Media watched carefully and tried again after the domain dropped in 2009 and an employee of a domain registrar picked it up. That employee was Tom Brown, of BareMetal.com. Glove offered him $5,000 but he instead sold it to another company 9 days later for $29,000. Globe went after that owner, again claiming trademark rights.

DomainNameNews  shows how someone uncovered that Globe had previously registred “numerous trademark infringing domains including Ducati.ca, Labatts.ca, Mentos.ca, Zantac.ca” etc. and the Canadian arbitration panel decided to find Globe guilty of bad faith actions which led to the finding and the fine.

Takeaways:

  • notice how an employee of a registrar picked up a quality name that dropped and sold it 9 days later for $29000
  • notice how the trademark game appears to be alive and well, with companies playing both sides
  • notice how small the fine is ($5,000) for abusing the system for $30,000 gains

One Comment

  1. Domainer wrote:

    Registrar employees should not be able to pick up domains like this, there is too much room for abuse. They could just not send out reminders when the renewals are due for example.

    Tuesday, April 28, 2009 at 1:11 pm | Permalink