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Pharmaceutical supply chain company SkyCell AG attempts reverse domain hijacking

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WIPO panel finds that the company filed a UDRP in bad faith.

The words "Reverse domain name hijacking" and a computing image of a skull

A World Intellectual Property Organization panelist has determined that SkyCell AG attempted to reverse domain name hijack

The company, which offers supply chain solutions to the pharmaceutical industry, uses the domain name

The owner of registered it well before SkyCell AG had any trademark rights in the term. SkyCell seemed to be unsure about when the current domain registrant acquired the domain. Still, it didn’t bother to amend its complaint once the registrar revealed the domain owner’s identity.

In finding reverse domain name hijacking, panelist Steven Maier wrote:

However, even if the Complainant thought it possible that the Respondent acquired the disputed domain name in 2021 after the Complainant’s registration and use of the SKYCELL trademark, the Complainant has still not produced a shred of evidence to demonstrate, or even to give rise to an inference that, the Respondent’s registered the disputed domain name with the knowledge of that trademark and in order to target it, rather than owing to any inherent value. The Complainant even admits that its submissions as to bad faith are speculative, and while commenting that it was initially uncertain of the Respondent’s identity, it seems to have made no further enquiries upon disclosure of that information by the Registrar.

In circumstances where the Complainant has failed to establish even a prima facie case in respect of bad faith, the Panel can only conclude that the Complainant had no reasonable or good-faith basis to invoke, or at least following receipt of the information provided by the Registrar: to continue with, the UDRP against the Respondent and brought this proceeding speculatively and therefore in bad faith. The Panel therefore upholds the Respondent’s submission that the Complaint constitutes an attempt at Reverse Domain Name Hijacking.

The rise in obfuscated Whois records in the wake of GDPR has made it more difficult for Complainants to determine the ownership and ownership history of domain names. However, the registrar unveils this information to the UDRP provider upon filing, and the Complainant can amend its complaint.

SkyCell was internally represented. Lewis & Lin, LLC represented the domain name owner.

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