Russian firm found to have tried reverse domain name hijacking
Company filed cybersquatting complaint against domain name registered prior to its trademark rights.
A World Intellectual Property Forum panelist has determined that Kontsern Radioelektronnye Tehnologii tried reverse domain name hijacking the domain name KRET.org.
The Russian electronics manufacturer filed the dispute against Titan Networks, which registered the domain name in 2007.
Titan argued that it registered the domain name because of its value as a short domain name and was not aware of the Complainant. It registered the domain name before the Complainant had any trademark rights in the term KRET.
The Complainant tried to argue retroactive bad faith, as was argued in an oft-cited case involving Octogen Pharmacal Company. That case has been leveraged by many Complainants who otherwise don’t have a case, but has been widely rejected by panels.
In finding reverse domain name hijacking, panelist Adam Taylor wrote:
1. The Complainant has failed by a large margin. In the Panel’s opinion, the Complainant knew or at least should have known that it could not prove one of the essential UDRP elements. The Complainant’s representatives quoted extensively from UDRP case law and the Panel thinks it unlikely that they were unaware of the current overwhelming view of UDRP panelists as to the need to prove registration as well as use in bad faith and that the 10-year old cases cited are no longer “good law”.
2. The Complaint lacks candour in that it makes no mention of the fact that the Complainant has traded under the name “KRET” only since 2014 and not from when it was established in 2009. In the event the distinction is not material to the case but it could have been if the Respondent had acquired the disputed domain name after the Complainant was established.
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