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August 27, 2012

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Here's the The Lowdown from DN Journal,
updated daily
to fill you in on the latest buzz going around the domain name industry. 

The Lowdown is compiled by DN Journal Editor & Publisher Ron Jackson.

Brazilian Company Using UDRP as a Burglary Tool in an Attempted Generic Domain Name Theft?

OK, this reverse domain hijacking trend is getting out of hand. Not that it comes as a surprise. I've said for years that, with the high value of generic .com domain names, more and more people, including over-reaching corporations with no right to generic names, would attempt to steal them through the UDRP process rather than pay for assets that belong to someone else

The situation continues to get worse because bad actors are seeing others being handed domains they had no right to through  indefensible decisions made by "arbitrators" who overwhelming side with complainants (often whether or not there is any merit to their complaints). It has been an especially hot topic in recent weeks after noted domain attorney Paul Keating and the Internet Commerce Association's Legal Counsel Phil Corwin pointed out some especially egregious examples of this.

The deck is stacked against domain owners and the corporate hijackers know it, so they figure "why not take a shot at it, we've got nothing to lose and everything to gain." Indeed, you almost can't blame them because there is no penalty for attempting a reverse domain hijacking, even if you lose the UDRP. I say "almost" because any time someone is engaged in attempted theft, whatever the  

Attorney Paul Keating

means may be, blame is warranted (and it seems to me a stiff penalty would also be in order as it is in conventional cases of attempted robbery). 

The latest to attempt this flimflam is a Brazilian company that operates SaveMe.com.br.  Though the company was only established in 2010, it decided it should own the generic SaveMe.com domain, even though it was registered in 1996, 14 years before this unknown company even existed! SaveMe.com.br obviously knew they had no right to the name because they repeatedly tried to buy it from  the owner. When he would not sell his property to them for the price they wanted to pay, they decided to try this backdoor attempt to make off with the name through an unwarranted UDRP.

Rick Schwartz
SaveMe.com owner

SaveMe.com.br made one miscalculation though. The domain they hope to pilfer with the help of  friendly arbitrators (one report said the WIPO panel is comprised of three panelists who are all from Brazil) is owned by Rick Schwartz, AKA the Domain King. Rick knows more than a little about hijacking attempts and unlike many other victims he has both the means and the will to fight back. With the help of his attorney, Howard Neu, Schwartz has already launched a full frontal assault on SaveMe.com.br and their representative, Márcio Mello Chaves (who tried to buy the domain from Schwartz). 

Though this would seem to be an open and shut UDRP case in favor of Schwartz, recent arbitration cases have shown that nothing is a sure thing. Even so, I would bet the SaveMe.com.br people are not going to be happy even if they were to somehow win what looks like an unwinnable UDRP case. As other wealthy domain owners who refused to be bullied have successfully done in the past, Schwartz would then likely file a federal 

lawsuit against SaveMe.com.br and walk way with a good bit more than just the domain name he started with. It couldn't happen to a "nicer" company. 

(Posted March 15, 2012) To refer others to the post above only you can use this URL:
http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2012/dailyposts/20120315.htm
 


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