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Australian Company Wants .Com, Gets Nailed for Reverse Domain Hijacking

October 26, 2009Domaining, Domainnamewire, Policy & Law, reverse domain, udrpComments Off on Australian Company Wants .Com, Gets Nailed for Reverse Domain Hijacking

Web site company apparently doesn’t understand domain names.

An Australian web site development company, Bwired Group Pty Ltd, has failed in its attempt to get the domain name Bwired.com through arbitration — and was found guilty of reverse domain name hijacking.

There are two interesting things about this case. First, it shows that companies can’t rely on their country code domain name alone — they still need .com. Bwired uses bwired.com.au as its domain. As Bwired suggested in its complaint:

Customers would expect [bwired.com] to be owned by it, particularly as it owns the corresponding domain name bwired.com.au. The Complainant points out that if a person attempting to access its domain name omitted the .au top level domain, he would be directed to the Respondent’s website.

I see this all the time — companies belatedly getting the .com to accompany their country code domain name. This is especially the case when the country code domain uses .com.cc or something similar.

Second is how ridiculous a company looks when it tries to hijack a domain name. Here was Bwired’s rationale as it tried to persuade the panel that it should get the domain. As you read this, consider that bwired.com was registered two years prior to Bwired being founded:

The Complainant alleges that the Respondent acted in bad faith in registering and using the Domain Name. The Complainant points out that the Respondent owns a considerable number of domain names which resolve to the same website and observes that the Respondent clearly registers domain names with the sole purpose of selling them to the trademark owner. The Complainant asserts that “bwired” is a distinctive word which is not in use in the English language and which would not have been legitimately chosen by the Respondent for use as part of the Domain Name. The Complainant infers that the Domain Name was registered with the sole purpose of sale to the Complainant or one of its competitors.

As John Berryhill would point out, Bwired is making an assumption that the owner of the domain is psychic.

In finding reverse domain name hijacking against Bwired, the arbitrator wrote:

The Panel considers that this allegation was made recklessly without any proper consideration of the information in the Complainant’s possession, let alone further information readily available on the Internet.


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