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Unipol.com : Respondent uses “reverse cyber-squatter” approach to UDRP


Unipol.com UDRP.

The Korean registrant of Unipol.com was hit with a UDRP; the 10 year old domain was challenged at the WIPO by an Italian corporation.

Complainant is Unipol Gruppo Finanziario S.p.A. of Bologna, Italy, that claimed it has common law rights to the UNIPOL mark since 1989.

Meanwhile, Unipol.com was registered by the Respondent on February 10, 2007. It has been displaying a blank page for the most part since.

According to the UDRP:

“The Respondent claims that it registered the disputed domain name legally by legitimate procedures ten years ago in 2007, and that it caused the disputed domain name website to appear as a blank page.”

Furthermore, the Respondent used a novel statement regarding the Complainant’s UDRP filing:

“Complainant is a typical reverse cyber-squatter because it lodged this action many years after – some 10 years after – the Respondent’s registration of the disputed domain name.”

We aren’t sure if the term “reverse cyber-squatter” is valid; the Complainant hit back, citing a large number of registrations owned by the Respondent:

“As evidenced by the Complainant, the Respondent has a history of registering domain names incorporating third-party trademarks.”

The panelist stated:

“The Panel finds that the Complainant’s registered trademark, UNIPOL, is widely known and that it has been used by the Complainant for almost 28 years. Accordingly, the evidence, which is not rebutted by the Respondent, shows that the Respondent likely knew of and has sought to take unfair advantage of the similarity between the disputed domain name and the Complainant’s trademark UNIPOL and prevented the Complainant from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name.

Despite filing a response, the Respondent has failed to explain how it chose to register a domain name identical to the Complainant’s mark or what legitimate interests it may have in the disputed domain name.”

Andrew J. Park found this case to be leaning towards the Complainant, and the request to transfer Unipol.com to them was granted.

View the full text of this UDRP decision.

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