Midjourney.ai: UDRP result hardly a surprise for veteran domain investor

The domain Midjourney.ai was the subject of a UDRP; the Complainant was Midjourney, Inc. an AI pioneer operating from the domain Midjourney.com.

Not many know, apparently, that MIDJOURNEY is a registered trademark; the company applied for the mark’s registration with the USPTO in September 2022, a smart move as OpenAI failed to act quickly for its ChatGPT mark.

Unlike the ChatGPT.com case, the same Respondent ( Site Matrix LLC) didn’t have a lucky strike this time. His registration of the domain Midjourney.ai was in September 2022 around the time that the Complainant filed for their mark’s registration at the USPTO but they decided to concede the domain to the Complainant.

The Panelist took note of that, ordering the domain to be transferred to the Complainant without analyzing the case’s specifics further.


Midjourney, Inc. v. Domain Administrator / Site Matrix LLC

Claim Number: FA2405002098235

PARTIES

Complainant is Midjourney, Inc. (“Complainant”), represented by Judd Lauter of Cooley LLP, California, USA. Respondent is Domain Administrator / Site Matrix LLC (“Respondent”), Puerto Rico.

REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME

The domain name at issue is midjourney.ai, registered with GoDaddy.com, LLC.

PANEL

The undersigned certifies that he has acted independently and impartially and to the best of his knowledge has no known conflict in serving as Panelist in this proceeding.

Alan L. Limbury, as Panelist.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Complainant submitted a Complaint to Forum electronically on May 17, 2024. Forum received payment on May 17, 2024.

On May 17, 2024, GoDaddy.com, LLC confirmed by e-mail to Forum that the midjourney.ai domain name is registered with GoDaddy.com, LLC and that Respondent is the current registrant of the name. GoDaddy.com, LLC has verified that Respondent is bound by the GoDaddy.com, LLC registration agreement and has thereby agreed to resolve domain disputes brought by third parties in accordance with ICANN’s Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Policy”).

On May 29, 2024, Forum served the Complaint and all Annexes, including a Written Notice of the Complaint, setting a deadline of June 18, 2024 by which Respondent could file a Response to the Complaint, via e-mail to all entities and persons listed on Respondent’s registration as technical, administrative, and billing contacts, and to postmaster@midjourney.ai. Also on May 29, 2024, the Written Notice of the Complaint, notifying Respondent of the e-mail addresses served and the deadline for a Response, was transmitted to Respondent via post and fax, to all entities and persons listed on Respondent’s registration as technical, administrative and billing contacts.

Having received no formal response from Respondent, Forum transmitted to the parties a Notification of Respondent Default.

On June 19, 2024, pursuant to Complainant’s request to have the dispute decided by a single-member Panel, Forum appointed Alan L. Limbury as Panelist.

Having reviewed the communications records, the Administrative Panel (the “Panel”) finds that Forum has discharged its responsibility under Paragraph 2(a) of the Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Rules”) “to employ reasonably available means calculated to achieve actual notice to Respondent” through submission of Electronic and Written Notices, as defined in Rule 1 and Rule 2. Therefore, the Panel may issue its decision based on the documents submitted and in accordance with the ICANN Policy, ICANN Rules, Forum’s Supplemental Rules and any rules and principles of law that the Panel deems applicable, without the benefit of any response from Respondent.

RELIEF SOUGHT

Complainant requests that the domain name be transferred from Respondent to Complainant.

PRELIMINARY ISSUE: CONSENT TO TRANSFER

On May 31, 2024 Forum received an email from Respondent stating the following:

Please be advised that we wish to voluntary handover midjourney.ai and not defend it. It is our intention to settle this amicably and immediately.

In light of Respondent’s consent to the transfer to Complainant of the midjourney.ai domain name, the Panel considers it appropriate to order the transfer of the domain name without embarking on the traditional Policy analysis. See Disney Enters., Inc. v. Morales, FA 475191 (Forum June 24, 2005) (“[U]nder such circumstances, where Respondent has agreed to comply with Complainant’s request, the Panel felt it to be expedient and judicial to forego the traditional UDRP analysis and order the transfer of the domain names.”).

DECISION

Respondent having consented to the transfer of the domain name to Complainant, the Panel concludes that relief shall be GRANTED.

Accordingly, it is Ordered that the midjourney.ai domain name be TRANSFERRED from Respondent to Complainant.

Alan L. Limbury, Panelist

Dated: June 20, 2024

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