Dnw Podcast Rs 12

Lawsuit filed to overturn OpenTime.com UDRP

Domain owner shot himself in the foot in UDRP response, so he’s asking a court to let him keep the domain name.

The owner of OpenTime.com, who lost the domain name in a UDRP decision last month, has filed a lawsuit (pdf) to try to retain ownership of the domain name.

If you look at the facts, it may seem surprising that the panel ordered the domain name transferred. After all, registrant Kevin Burns has a trademark in Japan for “Open Time”. The term is also descriptive.

But it seems that Burns or his attorney really upset the panelist by making false or questionable statements, and this played against Burns. For example, the initial response stated that Burns owned the domain since 2000.

That’s not true. A simple check of DomainTools shows that this domain was part of the UltSearch portfolio acquired by Marchex and then GoDaddy. It turns out Burns bought the domain through Afternic in the middle of 2016. After being called out, Burns said that something in Afternic’s membership agreement made him the “owner” since the domain was originally registered in 2000. The panelist didn’t buy that.

Burns was represented by Steven Rinehart. This isn’t the first time a respondent represented by Rinehart has obfuscated the ownership date, and both times it has backfired.

The panel also called into question other documents Burns submitted.

So now Burns is defending the domain name in Arizona court, asking for declaratory relief. He may well get it, but I’d suggest being careful what he submits to the court.



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Author: Andrew Allemann

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