Company goes after valuable domain name that was registered before it existed.

Crypto World Journal Inc, which operates a news site about cryptocurrency and blockchain, has been found to have engaged in reverse domain name hijacking in its attempt to get the domain name

The domain name was purchased by a Chinese domain name investor in 2016. Crypto World Journal wasn’t founded until after that. In the complaint, it’s clear that the Complainant thinks the owner had the domain name since its original registration date in 1999.

Nonetheless, it pursued the case by filing a UDRP with World Intellectual Property Organization. It made the misguided assertion that:

The very nature of Respondent’s registration evidences bad faith. Respondent has owned the Domain Name since 1999 and has never once had a functional page running. This leads to the conclusion that the Respondent registered the name to sell it one day to a company like that of the Complainant who has a real and legitimate use for the name, or just to prevent the owner of a trade mark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name.

That’s not how this works. Buying a domain name with the hopes that someday someone will want to buy it is not cybersquatting.

In finding reverse domain name hijacking, panelist Sebastian M.W. Hughes was particularly miffed that the Complaint “made the positive (and false) averment, in Section IV. of the Complaint (“Language of Proceedings”), that “There are no communications between the Complainant and the Respondent.”

The Complainant had emailed the owner previously. After the UDRP was filed, Crypto World Journal’s attorney wrote to the domain owner:

Hello Mr Lin:

I hope this email finds you well. I represent Cryto [sic] World Journal, the complainant in the WIPO dispute over the WWW.CWJ.COM domain name. I know that my client tried to reach out to you previously, but we did not have your name or email address, only the information provided by the registrar. Would you be willing to settle this outside of WIPO? I know my client is amenable to a speedy solution and we would appreciate if you were willing to come to a reasonable understanding. Please advise.

Hughes summarizes:

In light of the above, the Panel agrees with the Respondent that the Complainant has filed the Complaint after an unsuccessful attempt to acquire the disputed domain name from the Respondent, and where the legally represented Complainant filed the Complaint without having any plausible basis for establishing, in particular, bad faith registration and use.

The Chinese domain name investor was represented by Zak Muscovitch. Crypto World Journal was represented by Abecassis Foad, P.A..

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