Ecostream LLC tries reverse domain name hijacking

Company filed UDRP after failing to buy domain name from current owner.

A National Arbitration Forum panelist has found Ecostream LLC to have attempted reverse domain name hijacking.

The company, which provides water management and hydrocarbon reclamation services, filed a dispute against the domain name ecostream.com. The company uses ecostreamusa.com.

According to the case decision, Ecostream LLC began using the Ecostream mark after the Respondent registered the domain, so this case was dead on arrival.

Making matters worse, Ecostream doesn’t have a registered trademark and didn’t submit evidence showing common law rights, so it failed to pass even the first prong of UDRP (that the domain is identical or confusingly similar to a mark in which the Complainant has rights).

In finding reverse domain name hijacking, National Arbitration Forum panelist Terry Peppard wrote:

On the record before us, the salient facts on this question include that:

1. throughout this proceeding, Complainant has been represented by experienced legal counsel;

2. Complainant knew, when it filed its Complaint, that Respondent had acquired its domain name before Complainant could have established common law rights in the ECOSTREAM mark upon which it relies;

3. Complainant has offered no evidence showing that Respondent procured its domain name registration in bad faith anticipation of Complainant’s acquisition of rights in its claimed mark; and

4. Complainant filed its Complaint only after its efforts to purchase the domain name from Respondent had failed.

On these facts, we find both that Complainant’s Complaint lacks merit, as detailed above, and that Complainant’s submissions demonstrate that, in filing and prosecuting this proceeding, Complainant has attempted in bad faith to obtain through abuse of the processes of the Policy what it could not obtain to its satisfaction through negotiation (often referred to as a ”Plan B” filing). As a result, Complainant is guilty of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking as defined in the Rules…

The domain owner didn’t respond to the dispute, but Peppard noted that the panelist was “obliged to consider” reverse domain name hijacking given the circumstances.

Maslon, LLP represented the Complainant.

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