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Biohacks GmbH tries reverse domain name hijacking

Panel had a laundry list of problems with the company’s case.

Reverse domain name hijacking graphic

A World Intellectual Property Organization panel has found German company Biohacks GmbH guilty of reverse domain name hijacking.

Biohacks GmbH filed a cybersquatting dispute against even though the current registrant acquired the domain years before Biohacks GmbH was formed. It doesn’t help the Complainant’s case that biohack is also a generic term.

The three-person panel gave five reasons for finding that Biohacks GmbH filed its dispute in abuse of the policy:

i) the Complainant, through its counsel, should have appreciated the weakness of its case and the fact that the dictionary term “biohacks” encompassed in the disputed domain name could not be exclusively referable to the Complainant, as claimed in the Complaint without any supporting evidence;

ii) the Complainant knew or should have known that the Respondent was not acting in bad faith, especially considering the disputed domain name was registered long before the Complainant acquired trademark rights for BIOHACKS;

iii) the Complainant should have carried out a minimal due diligence that would have disclosed the fact that the Complainant would not have succeeded in any way under any fair interpretation of the available facts before the filing of the Complaint;

iv) the Complaint was brought only after the Complainant failed to purchase the disputed domain name; and

v) the Complainant has failed to demonstrate its use of the trademark BIOHACKS before or after the registration of the disputed domain name and has not even addressed the bad faith registration requirement.

Horak Attorneys at Law represented the reverse domain name hijacker. Zak Muscovitch represented the domain name owner.

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Author: Andrew Allemann

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