Should this have been a reverse domain name hijacking? – Domain name thread

World Intellectual Property Organization panelist John Swinson condemned Cheyne Capital Holdings Limited in a dispute over the domain name CheyneGroup.com.

This is one of those cases made difficult by GDRP. But once the identity of the domain owner was made available, the Complainant should have withdrawn the case.

After GDPR, UDRP providers obtain domain owner information from the registrar and provide it to the complainant. At this point, the Complainant amends its file to name the Respondent. And, if the ownership information kills their case, they can remove it at this point.

In this case, the Registrar identified the owner as Sheri Kempe of “cheynegroup”. When the plaintiff filed his amended case, he did not address the obvious issue of the owner apparently being a business by the name of Cheyne Group.

Swinson did a little Google search and found the company.

The defendant’s managing partner is James Cheyne, who sent emails to the PMOI, which Swinson summarizes as follows:

“We cannot imagine what anyone might find offensive on our behalf.”

“My ancestors came from Europe so with the name Cheyne and spelled the same as my family here, they must be related and I’d like to talk to them. Family members here don’t chase each other, especially for something like our name I am 76 and have never heard of anyone in Europe Let me know who the parent is and they are welcome to call or email me. If they want my contact information, just ask them to email me.

Twelve years ago, his attorneys conducted research and established The Cheyne Group, LLC.

Mr Cheyne also expressed concern that the case emails were a scam.

With this information, the case is dead. The domain owner clearly has a legitimate interest in the domain. The Complainant had two opportunities to address this issue. First, he did not address the Respondent’s name in the Amended Complaint. Second, he did not respond to Swinson’s procedural order asking him to respond based on the new information about the respondent. Swinson wrote:

The Complainant does not address in detail the issue that the Respondent’s name, as it appears in the Registrar’s records, is “cheynegroup”. Plaintiff did not respond to the Panel’s Procedural Order which requested Plaintiff to submit comments on the factual issues summarized in Section 4 above, including that there is a company in Texas called The Cheyne Group. , LLC (which appears to be the correct legal name for the respondent or associated with the respondent).

Emails received by the Center indicate that Mr. Cheyne formed The Cheyne Group, LLC.

There is no suggestion that The Cheyne Group, LLC is not a legitimate business.

According to emails received by the Center, Mr. Cheyne is a 76-year-old real estate broker in the Dallas area, and there is no evidence that he has knowledge of or operates in the money management business or of European real estate in which the complainant operates. . The Complainant did not discuss this in the Complaint or in response to the Procedural Order.

Complainant states: “… given that Respondent has registered a Domain Name which includes Complainant’s Domain Name [CHEYNE trademark] likewise, any use of the Domain Name by the Respondent would in no way constitute a legitimate or fair use of the Domain Name unless it had been authorized by the Complainant. Any use of the Domain Name would unduly take advantage of the rights of the Complainant in the [CHEYNE trademark] and deceptively divert users to Respondent’s website instead of Complainant’s website by using Complainant’s website [CHEYNE trademark].” The Panel considers this to be an overstatement of Complainant’s rights. The registration and use of a domain name corresponding to a surname does not necessarily take unfair advantage of a complainant’s trademark rights.

I can understand why the complainant filed the case because at one point there were some PPC links on the home page of the domain registrar that referred to financial services, which is the business of complainant. But she should have withdrawn the case after knowing the contact details of the respondent. And I wonder if Swinson should have at least considered reverse domain name hijacking given the plaintiff’s lack of response to the procedural order.

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