Cyberspace Headline Intellectual Property Trademarks

X6D Limited Found To Have Engaged In Reverse Domain Name Hijacking

Reverse Domain Name Hijacking (RDNH), also known as reverse cybersquatting, is similar to trademark bullying.  Both tactics involve the trademark owner using his trademark rights to unjustly interfere with another’s rights.  With trademark bullying, a trademark owner uses his trademark rights to harass and intimidate another beyond what the law might be reasonably interpreted to allow.  With RDNH, a trademark owner uses his trademark rights to try to take over a domain name from its rightful owner through a false cybersquatting claim.  RDNH is different from domain hijacking, because in domain hijacking, the domain owner purchases the domain name in bad faith with the intent of profiting by selling it to the trademark owner.

Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP) panels rarely find instances of RDNH.  When they do, there is not much that can be done to penalize the reverse cybersquatters.  If considered a tort, the decision could be used in a proceeding to recoup damages.

Here is a recent case where the Complainant was found to attempt RDNH.  The case was X6D Limited of Limassol, Cyprus v. Telepathy, Inc. of Washington, D.C. was the disputed domain name.  X6D filed for registration of its trademark XPAND BEYOND CINEMA in September 2006 and for XPAND in 2010, claiming first use in commerce in September 2006.  Telepathy, Inc. registered the domain name more than 3 years prior to X6D’s filing, in June 2003.

Telepathy, Inc. would have sold the domain to X6D for 6-figures, but X6D was only offering $10,000, which Telepathy, Inc. declined.  Thereafter, X6D brought the action to the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center, where the company was found to have engaged in RDNH.