Stolen domain LDW.com was recovered via the UDRP process

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LDW.com has been recovered.

The formerly stolen three letter .com domain, LDW.com, has been recovered via the UDRP process.

Its Chinese registrant, Stella Chang, did not respond to this UDRP.

The Complainant is LDW Software, LLC of San Francisco, California, USA, and its founder, Arthur Humphrey who registered the domain LDW.com in 1996.

According to the complaint:

“The Complainant is a company controlled by Arthur Humphrey (“Humphrey”). The Panel finds the following to be undisputed facts, these facts being supported by a declaration from Humphrey.

Humphrey registered the Disputed domain Name on June 30, 1996, it being at that date one of the few remaining three-character “.com” domain names that was available. Soon thereafter, Humphrey launched a website development company using the Disputed Domain Name, which Humphrey called “Liquid Design Works” and which was commonly known and referred to as “LDW.” Humphrey specifically named the company “Liquid Design Works” and referred to it as “LDW” so that the company would have a domain name that was a relevant acronym.

In 2002, Humphrey founded a game development company called “Last Day of Work LLC,” commonly known as “LDW,” which began using the Disputed Domain Name at that time. Last Day of Work LLC was later renamed as LDW Software LLC, the Complainant in this proceeding.”

Fast forward twenty years, the domain LDW.com somehow changed hands in late 2016:

“On December 5, 2016, the Complainant discovered that its website using the Disputed Domain Name was not available. Humphrey investigated and discovered that the Disputed Domain Name had been transferred, without his knowledge or consent, to the Respondent.

Upon investigation Humphrey discovered that the Disputed Domain Name had been transferred from the Complainant’s registrar, Network Solutions, to another registrar, GoDaddy, on approximately June 9, 2015, and that the email address for the Disputed Domain Name had been changed to a similar but different email address that was not associated with the Complainant or Humphrey, and that the mailing address for the Disputed Domain Name had been changed to an address that was not associated with the Complainant or Humphrey. Thereafter, the registrant of the Disputed Domain Name was disclosed to be the Respondent in this Complaint, that is, Stella Chang.

Despite the transfer of the Disputed Domain Name from one registrar to another and from the Complainant to the Respondent, the “name servers” for the Disputed Domain Name were not changed until December 5, 2016. As a result, the Complainant’s website using the Disputed Domain Name remained active and, to the Complainant’s knowledge, unaffected. Only when the name servers were changed on December 5, 2016, did Complainant learn that the Disputed Domain Name had been transferred to the Respondent.”

The Complainant utilized an existing mark for LDW in its UDRP filing:

“The Complainant owns a trademark registration for the LDW Trademark in Switzerland, Reg. No. 697750, for use in connection with “computer game software; downloadable computer game software; downloadable electronic game software for use with mobile phones, portable players, pocket computers and tablet computers.” This registration was granted on January 16, 2017.”

Despite the UDRP process not being a recommend vehicle to settle domain theft issues, the decision made by the WIPO panelist, Nick J. Gardner, was to transfer the domain back to the Complainant.

For the full text of the UDRP decision on LDW.com click here.


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