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Mechoshade busted for reverse domain name hijacking

June 20, 2018Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off on Mechoshade busted for reverse domain name hijacking

Window shading company filed cybersquatting complaint that had “no chance whatsoever of success”.

Mechoshade Systems, LLC, which goes by the name MechoSystems, has been found to have engaged in reverse domain name hijacking for the domain name Mecho.com.

The window shading and coverings company filed a cybersquatting dispute against Mecho Investments, which registered the domain name in 1999. The domain was registered primarily for the family’s personal and business email addresses. It chose the domain based on a family nickname and provided evidence of use for email addresses.

Upon seeing Mecho Investment’s response to the complaint, MechoSystems decided to double down rather than admit that its case was busted. National Arbitration Forum panelist David Bernstein found that the case was filed in bad faith in an abuse of the UDRP. He wrote:

…Respondent is correct that Complainant’s allegations are so weak that Complainant must have known – and at the minimum should have known – that its Complaint had no chance whatsoever of success.

On its face, the Complaint was woefully deficient. Its allegations of bad faith were themselves insufficient, and even in the absence of a Response, would have led to the rejection of this Complaint.

Complainant compounded its bad faith with its additional submission. In its Response, Respondent persuasively explained the origin of Respondent’s use of “mecho’” in the Domain Name (it was Mr. Ramirez’s grandmother’s nickname), provided proof of its legitimate use of the Domain Name, denied any knowledge of Complainant’s trademark rights (which itself eviscerates any possible finding of bad faith registration), and credibly showed that there was no bad faith use of the Domain Name (either under the examples listed in the Policy or otherwise). Instead of acknowledging these points, Complainant continued to pursue this case, including with the frivolous and demonstrably incorrect argument that use of a Domain Name for purposes of a family email address is not a legitimate interest…

…At the bare minimum, after receipt of Respondent’s Response, Complainant knew or ought to have known that Respondent has rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name, and that Respondent’s registration and use of the Domain Name could not, under any fair interpretation of the available facts, been undertaken in bad faith. Yet Complainant nevertheless persisted with its Complaint.

Mechoshade was represented by Ryan D. Ricks, a partner at Snell & Wilmer who specializes in intellectual property law. It’s surprising to see someone who specializes in IP file such a baseless UDRP.

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