Domain buyer brokers should protect themselves against being used in a dispute

Domain buyer brokers should protect themselves against being used in a dispute


They should forbid clients from using their negotiations in UDRPs and lawsuits.

Picture of a Voxan electric motorcycle

The maker of Voxan bikes used a broker’s negotiation as the basis for a UDRP. Photo from Venturi website.

Many skilled domain brokers help companies acquire domain names. When negotiations fail to result in a transaction, clients sometimes use the broker’s effort in an ensuing UDRP or lawsuit.

That was the case in a dispute for Voxan.com last year.  Gildo Pallanca-Pastor, the CEO of Venturi Automobiles, filed a dispute against domain name investor VirtualPoint. The panel found it was a case of reverse domain name hijacking.

Venturi initially used a French firm called Solidnames to try to acquire the domain name. The broker in that case has now told VirtualPoint that it didn’t realize the client would turn around and file a UDRP. He wrote in an email: “Following the failure of negotiations, the end client changed strategy with his lawyer.”

Domain buyer brokers should avoid having their name thrown into a UDRP. Bill Sweetman of Name Ninja explained in a podcast last year that his company’s terms forbid clients from using any of his firm’s negotiations/communications in a UDRP or lawsuit.

As for Venturi, it has tasked Solidnames with trying to acquire Voxan.com again. I suspect it’s going to need to offer a lot more money to buy the domain now than before it filed its abusive UDRP.

[Note: I mistyped the name of the brokerage firm in the initial post. I apologize for the error.]

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