Mar '24

Mermet S.A.S. loses cybersquatting claims but avoids reverse domain name hijacking charge – Domain Name Wire

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These cybersquatting cases were dead on arrival, but the panelist didn’t find RDNH.UDRP in red on a cream background
Window covering company Mermet S.A.S., part of the Hunter Douglas company, has lost two cybersquatting claims.
The company filed disputes against mermet.com and mermet.eu, both of which are owned by Didier Mermet.
Given that information, these cases were dead on arrival: it’s clear that the domain owner has a right or legitimate interest in the domains, given his surname.
Mermet S.A.S. argued that the domain owner hasn’t made any use of mermet.com since registering it in 1998, and the same for mermet.eu since 2011.
However, it appears that the .com has been used for many years as a genealogy site for people with the surname Mermet. It even offers email addresses to people.
Based on the language of the decisions, it appears that the domain owner offered to sell his many mermet.tld domains for $150,000. It’s not clear from the written decisions if he approached Mermet S.A.S. or the other way around.
Regardless, panelist Christiane Féral-Schuhl correctly noted that the domain owner has rights or legitimate interests in the domain and he did not registered them in bad faith (and, as it relates to the EU policy, he didn’t use them in bad faith).
But the panelist gave Mermet S.A.S. a pass on reverse domain name hijacking, writing:
The Panel here finds that the Complainant sincerely believes that the Respondent is attempting to profit from the registration of the disputed domain name. Therefore, the Panel considers that the Complaint was not initiated in bad faith and does not constitute an attempt at Reverse Domain Name Hijacking.
That’s an interesting standard for reverse domain name hijacking.
I would have liked to see the panel address the issues of Mermet S.A.S.’s claim that the domains weren’t in use.
Windt Le Grand Leeuwenburgh B.V. represented the Complainant and Selarl Axe Avocats represented the Respondent.
Mermet.com case decision (pdf)
Mermet.eu case decision (pdf)
Categories: Policy & Law
Andrew Allemann has been registering domains for over 25 years and publishing Domain Name Wire since 2005. He has been quoted about his expertise in domain names by The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and NPR. Connect with Andrew: LinkedInTwitter/XFacebook
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Joker has been buying and selling domains since the late 90's. He has worked with many portfolios and investors over the past decade as well.

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