A decision rendered by a WIPO panel yesterday over the domain name www.inbay.com found the Complainant guilty of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking (RDNH). One of the interesting aspects of the case was the the panel’s view of the Complainant’s “surreptitious” efforts to purchase the domain name via unidentified employees.
The Complainant failed to reveal this fact in its Complaint and the panel viewed this as a major faux pas and basis for supporting its finding of DNH, stating:
“[t]he Complainant made (through two of its employees who did not disclose they were acting on behalf of the Complainant) two approaches to the Respondent seeking to purchase the Domain Name, and did not disclose this fact in its Complaint. Following the rejection of those offers and the registration of the INBAY Mark, the Complainant chose to bring this Complaint. It did so without any prior notice in terms of formal communication to the Respondent. Whilst there is no obligation upon the Complainant to have sent such communication had it done so it would likely have been better appraised of the relevant facts and gained a better understanding of the weaknesses of its case.”
While the Complainant made a number of other critical mistakes, namely failing to do proper diligence before filing the Complaint and failing to explain how limited rights in the U.K. could prevent the domain name from being registered in Hong Kong – holding back on facts that are later revealed in the Response is a sure-fire way to lose credibility with the panel and, in this case, to support a finding of RDNH...