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Mike Mann wins UDRP for WorldHabitat.org

UDRP has been denied.

Domain investor, Mike Mann, has won the UDRP against his domain asset, WorldHabitat.org.

The ever-busy domain investor, who operates his own online portfolio venue at DomainMarket.com, shared the news last week.

Mike also owns the matching .com, WorldHabitat.com, but the UDRP at the WIPO focused on the .org, a domain that according to DomainMarket.com was on sale for $24,888 dollars.

Mike Mann now says the asking price has “quadrupled.”

The Complainant is Building and Social Housing Foundation, operating from BSHF.org.

Warwick A. Rothnie, sole panelist at the WIPO, ordered the domain WorldHabitat.org to remain with the Respondent, Mike Mann.

The Complainant has two pending trademark applications in the United Kingdom:

– Trademark Application No. 00003205123 for WORLD HABITAT in respect of a wide range of goods and services in International Classes 9, 35, 36, 37, 41, 43 and 45; and

– Trademark Application No. 00003205132 for WORLD HABITAT AWARDS in respect of services in International Classes 36 and 41.

According to the UDRP:

“It appears from the record that the disputed domain name was first registered in 1999 by a World Habitat Inc. That registration appears to have ceased in about 2001. The current registration of the disputed domain name can be traced back to September 16, 2003. At that time, it was registered to one Michael Mann or one of his associated entities, “grassroots.org”. The registration has been held since then by entities associated with Mr. Mann including MMBiz and Domain Asset Holdings LLC. According to the Response, these entities and the Respondent are all part of Mr. Mann’s “company”.”

The Complainant asserts that when the Complaint was filed, the disputed domain name resolved to a website which offered the disputed domain name for sale for USD 100,000. In correspondence before the Complaint was filed, the Respondent rejected an offer from an agent acting for the Complainant to buy the disputed domain name for $3,000 and offered to sell it for $24,888.

The Panelist found no instance of bad faith in this case:

“The Panel recognises that the Complainant appears to be on the verge of registering a trademark in the United Kingdom for WORLD HABITAT alone. Any registration from that application will date back to January 5, 2017. That is well after the Respondent began offering the disputed domain name for sale while it was registered by its related entity, Domain Asset Holdings Inc. As noted in Section 4 above, the evidence does not show that the Complainant had generated a secondary meaning at that time in the expression WORLD HABITAT alone.

Having regard to these matters, the Panel does not infer that the disputed domain name has been registered in bad faith to take advantage of the Complainant’s trademark. In these circumstances, the Panel finds that the Complainant has not established that the disputed domain name has been registered and used in bad faith.”

Although Mike Mann had sought a finding of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking, that was not decided as such.

For the full text of the UDRP decision on WorldHabitat.org click here.

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