Smart Robotics B.V. tries reverse domain name hijacking

Smart Robotics B.V. tries reverse domain name hijacking

Robotics company in the Netherlands files case in bad faith to try to get domain name.

A picture of a man's face with an eye cover coming out of a laptop screen with the words

A World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) panel has ruled that Smart Robotics B.V. has attempted to reverse domain name hijack

The company filed a cybersquatting claim against the domain name even though it was registered well before it existed. Smart Robotics B.V. also pointed to robotics ads on the pay-per-click page hosted on the domain as proof of lack of rights or legitimate interests, which didn’t help its case.

The domain name owner didn’t respond, but WIPO panelist Tony Willoughby busted holes in the Complainant’s case. He noted that Smart Robotics B.V. didn’t attempt to address the registration date issue. Regarding the pay-per-click links, he noted that all of the links were related to the dictionary meaning of the domain. Smart Robotics B.V. pointed to a case in which PPC links were used to find a lack of rights, but those links targeted the trademark meaning of a made-up word.

Willoughby pointed out that the Complainant relied on parts of the WIPO Overview 3.0 but ignored others that were fatal to its case. He wrote:

The Complaint is undoubtedly fundamentally flawed, but was it brought in bad faith to attempt to deprive the Respondent of the Domain Name or to harass the Respondent (paragraph 15(e) of the Rules)?

The Complainant is legally represented by a law firm with expertise in the field and clearly knew or ought to have known that the Complaint was doomed to fail on both the second and third elements of the Policy. Extraordinarily, the Complaint made no reference to the dictionary nature of the Domain Name, nor did it begin to explain how a registrant could have been targeting a complainant, which only came into existence several years later. In so doing it unreasonably ignored established Policy precedent as captured in WIPO Overview 3.0 of which, through its representative, it must have been aware.

The Panel finds that the Complaint was brought in bad faith and constitutes an abuse of this administrative proceeding.

Taylor Wessing N.V. represented the Complainant.

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