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March 12, 2013

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Here's the The Lowdown from DN Journal,
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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.

Procter & Gamble Not Too Big to Fail -  Reverse Domain Hijacking Attempt Tarnishes Famous Name

If there was a Dumbest UDRP Filing of the Year Award consumer products giant Procter & Gamble would probably have the 2013 dishonor sewed up and we are not even through the first quarter of the year yet. In a stunning decision handed down by a WIPO panel today (first reported by Andrew Allemann at DomainNameWire) P&G was found guilty of a reverse domain name hijacking attempt after they tried to steal the domain Swash.com from its rightful owner - Marchex Sales, Inc.

It was not a "stunning" decision in the sense that the ruling was a surprise, it was stunning because of the wildly false claims in the filing from P&G's attorneys - Keating Muething & Klekamp PLL - that resulted in the case blowing up in P&G's face (whether P&G gave their attorneys phony information or the attorneys, who signed off on the document, came up with the zany numbers, is unknown). 

In any case, credit Marchex's attorney, John Berryhill, long recognized as one of the very best in the business, for spotting the bogus P&G claims. The most embarrassing had to be the one where P&G said their Swash product had done $40 million in sales over the past four  

uh-oh! image from Bigstock

years. That surprised me because I have never heard of Swash. Apparently no one else has either because when Berryhill called them on it, P&G admitted the sales were actually a miniscule $60,000! This, of course, did not boost P&G's credibility with the WIPO panel, nor did the fact that Marchex has owned the domain for far longer than P&G has even had a product called Swash - strike two on P&G. 

Of course, that did not  escape Mr. Berryhill's notice either. You have about as much chance of slipping stuff with that kind of stench past John as you do of winning the Powerball lottery playing 13-13-13-13-13-13 (note to P&G and their attorneys: each ball has a different number so don't try this - it won't work either). 

Shame image from Bigstock

While there is no financial penalty for being branded a reverse domain name hijacker, odds are future Procter & Gamble UDRP filings (and they make a lot of them) are going to be given extra scrutiny by WIPO panelists (who may also want to wear a clothespin on their nose when reading P&G filings).  Of course P&G, though they lost the case, did win a nifty consolation prize - a permanent place on Rick Schwartz's Reverse Domain Hijacking Wall of Shame (an honor that is about as sought after as being poked in the eye with a sharp stick).

Now, if you'll excuse me, while continuing to shake my head in wonderment, I need to go pour some bottles of Tide down the drain. Who knows what is really in that stuff. I know what the label says but, all of the sudden, I'm not sure I can take P&G's word for it.

(Posted March 11, 2013) To refer others to the post above only you can use this URL:
http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2013/dailyposts/20130311.htm


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