Company that ships monthly marijuana-themed boxes tried to get the matching .com domain.
Hemper, which operates at Hemper .co, sells monthly subscription boxes of 420-themed items like the one pictured. A National Arbitration Forum panel found that the company tried to reverse domain name hijack Hemper .com. Picture from Hemper .co website.
BRH International Inc., which sells a monthly subscription box of marijuana-related products, has been found to have tried reverse domain name hijack the domain name Hemper .com.
The company uses Hemper .co for its business. At the time it registered that domain, Hemper .com was registered by someone in Japan.
That person let the domain name expire in 2018 and it was snagged by DropCatch.com. Both the Complainant and the Respondent bid in the DropCatch auction, with the Respondent Mira Holdings, Inc winning the domain for $36,150.
At issue was whether the term hemper is descriptive. The Complainant’s predecessor in interest filed a trademark application for Hemper and ran into issues with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office examiner who believed it was merely descriptive. It abandoned the application shortly before filing the UDRP.
The Respondent also argued that the Complainant’s participation in the auction showed that it believed it had no more rights to the name than anyone else.
The three-person National Arbitration Forum panel wrote:
Upon review of all of the pleadings and proofs submitted by the parties, the Panel concludes that Complainant, while knowing or having reason to know that it could not succeed in proving all of the required elements of its case, has nonetheless commenced and prosecuted this proceeding for the evident purpose of obtaining by misuse of the UDRP system what it failed to secure through a legitimate competitive auction process, and, in so doing, has engaged in Reverse Domain Name Hijacking.
Jeremy C. Doerre of Tillman Wright, PLLC represented BRH International. Domain attorney Howard Neu represented Mira Holdings.
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Author: Andrew Allemann