UDRP : RDNH finding – Complainant attempted to involve former “Backpack girl” at eNom

The famous "eNom girl" as commissioned by Parker Ito to Chinese artists.

The famous “eNom girl” as commissioned by Parker Ito to Chinese artists.

In a UDRP involving the 19 year old domain, the Complainant attempted to somehow involve the famous “Backpack girl” stock photo.

As part of the filing, the Complainant, who operates from, asserted the following:

” The Respondent’s posting on the Website of a photograph of a smiling girl with blonde shoulder length hair with a side parting fringe (the “Photograph”) between 2012 and 2014 is evidence of bad faith as it bears a striking resemblance to the Complainant’s CEO Aimee Kidd and this was the time when PATRICKS was becoming a global name. The use of the Photograph on the Website which was offering the Domain Name for commercial sale was to draw the Complainant’s attention to the Domain Name for the purpose of extracting lots of money for its sale. Further the use of the Photograph probably infringes a third party’s copyright which also supports a finding of bad faith.”

In other words, the Complainant claimed that the famous “Backpack girl” – or “eNom girl” to some – was used as a taunt by the Respondent, because it allegedly resembled the Australian company’s CEO! 😀

To that claim, the Respondent’s attorney, John Berryhill, pointed out the following:

“The Complainant’s claim that the Respondent’s use of the Photograph is in bad faith is without merit as the Photograph is in fact a stock photo of a model Hannah Steller which has been used by “hundreds of thousands” of domain parking companies since 2005. The Photograph has been famous in the domain name industry for over a decade as a stock photo image that was chosen by eNom to use on thousand of parked domains.

She is an industry icon known as “backpack girl” or “eNom girl”. Neither the Photograph nor the model has anything to do with the Complainant’s CEO.”

A three member panel at the WIPO found that the domain name should remain with the Respondent, due to the following reasons:

  • “The use of the Photograph does not amount to bad faith as it is a commonly used stock photo and has nothing to do with the CEO of the Complainant. Given the longtime use of this picture by eNom – something the Complainant or its representative could have discovered with minimal diligence – this allegation is preposterous.”
  • “This is one of the few cases in which a finding of abuse of the administrative proceeding is beyond obvious. While such a finding is always a matter of discretion, the Complainant’s empty rhetoric, mudslinging, and unsupported factual allegations require this Panel to impose the only sanction available to it.”
  • “Any of these circumstances justifies a finding of abuse. All in the same case, combined with the Complainant’s substituting intemperate language for substantive allegations and hard evidence, make such a finding obvious.”

In doing so, the Complainant was also found guilty of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking.

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