Xiatech Consulting Ltd Tries Reverse Domain Name Hijacking “Plan B” – Domain Name Wire

The company filed a UDRP request after inquiring about purchasing the domain name.

A UK tech company has tried to reverse a domain name’s domain name hijacking, a World Intellectual Property Organization panelist has determined (pdf).

Xiatech Consulting Ltd, which uses the domain name xiatech.co.uk, attempted to obtain the domain name xiatech.com through a UDRP cybersquatting dispute.

Respondent acquired the domain for $209 at a DropCatch auction in 2015.

In an oddly formatted ruling, panelist Matthew Kennedy mixed up the three elements of the UDRP. I don’t know if he found any of the three elements in favor of the plaintiff, but clearly Kennedy was unimpressed with the evidence provided by Xiatech Consulting to show that he had trademark rights of common law prior to domain registration. He also found fault in the plaintiff’s filing of the case after he first attempted to acquire the domain, a so-called “Plan B” reverse domain name hijacking.

Upon discovering the reverse domain name hijacking, he wrote:

The Panel notes that the Complainant is represented by counsel. The complaint repeatedly makes claims that it does not attempt to prove. The lack of evidence as to how the alleged mark was used, particularly before the registration of the disputed domain name, is remarkable given that such evidence is essential to a claim of common law rights, on which the complaint is based. In view of all the circumstances, the Panel concludes that the Complainant knew, or ought to have known, that the Complaint as presented could not succeed on a fair interpretation of the facts it had on file.

Further, the Commission notes that the Complaint was filed a little less than two months after the Complainant requested and failed to acquire the disputed domain name from the Respondent. The Complainant confirms in the record that he was not satisfied with the Respondent’s rental offer and wanted to negotiate a sale. The candor of this disclosure does not alter the purpose for which the complaint was filed. In the circumstances, the Panel infers that Complainant resorted to the Policy as “Plan B” after failing to acquire the disputed domain name from Respondent, or to increase its bargaining power. Either is a highly inappropriate objective for a complaint under the policy and constitutes an additional basis for finding reverse domain name hijacking.

Mishcon de Reya represented the Complainant.

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