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Roche Loses Control of, Fights to Get It Back

September 25,, Domaining, Domainnamewire, Policy & Law, roche, udrpComments Off on Roche Loses Control of, Fights to Get It Back

Pharma company loses key domain name.

Roche subsidiary 454 Life Sciences has lost control of its domain name and is asking a UDRP panel to help it get it back.

The history on is intriguing. Piecing it together with the help of DomainTools’ historical whois, there are several times over the past two years when this domain name may have been compromised. But earlier this month it suddenly was under a new name and forwarded to a Sedo parking page.

Roche was in control of the domain name as of March 31, 2010. The admin contact was although the whois had an invalid phone number. It also showed an old Network Solutions technical contact even though the domain was at eNom, so there was clearly some poor record keeping.

On April 16, 2010 the domain name moved out of Roche’s eNom reseller account. The registration services email changed to

Then on May 23, 2010 the whois record changed to a privacy service even though the nameservers stayed with Roche.

The domain came out from whois privacy on July 14, 2011. The whois record looked like it had before the domain name went into privacy in April 2010 with one subtle difference: the admin email was now

Notice the typo of Roche as Roceh?

Roche doesn’t own, which means the owner or basically could control the domain name. But it’s not clear that that lead to the domain changing hands, because the typo was fixed on July 31, 2011.

Then on September 5 the domain name suddenly changed to a new owner and pointed to Sedo domain parking.

How and when did Roche actually lose control of the domain name? It’s hard to tell. Perhaps the UDRP case will shed some more light on it.

© 2011.

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Roche Loses Valium Domain Case

February 1, 2010Domaining, Domainnamewire, Policy & Law, roche, udrp, wipoComments Off on Roche Loses Valium Domain Case

Case recognizes limitations of UDRP.

RocheF. Hoffmann-La Roche has lost a domain name dispute for the domain name in a case that recognizes important limits of the Uniform domain-name Dispute Resolution Process (UDRP).

Roche filed more domain disputes under UDRP last year than any other company, and it usually wins without contest. But in this case, even though Valium is a trademark of Roche, UDRP panelist Dan Hunter noted that there’s no way an internet user would confuse with a site owned by Roche. After all, getting prescription drugs with no prescription isn’t something Roche would offer.

…here the domain name involves a drug name and a means of procuring it (i.e. without prescription). In this Panel’s view, Internet users are not going to be confused about the purpose of the website, nor are they likely to think that the site is operated by the Complainant. Rather, they will go to the website associated with the domain name thinking that they will be able to obtain drugs without a prescription, in the nature of all Internet pharmacies.

That’s not to say that Hunter finds the domain owner’s behavior acceptable. In fact, he believes the contrary. However, the panel discusses how the use of this domain name isn’t meant to be objected to under UDRP:

As much as unlicensed Internet pharmacies might be appalling and dangerous and desperately in-need of regulation, the Policy is not intended, nor is it well-adapted, to stop this type of Internet commerce. In this Panel’s opinion, Paragraph 4(a)(iii) was always intended to track the standard international understandings of what amounted to an abusive misappropriations of a trademark, misappropriations of which demand either consumer confusion or some kind of unfair competition / passing off. Proof of this can be seen both in the examples articulated in paragraph 4(b)—all of which fit into one or other of these categories—and in the discussion in WIPO’s Final Report to ICANN of April 30, 1999 which led to the development of the UDRP.

© 2009.

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