Here’s a case to write home about.
Wendi Weiner, who promotes her writing services at WritingGuru.net, has been found to have tried reverse domain name hijacking TheWritingGuru.com in a UDRP.
Charles Euchner registered TheWritingGuru.com in 2006 and has uses it to promote his writing coaching services.
Weiner filed for a trademark for The Writing Guru in 2016, claiming a first use date of 2010.
See the problem? Apparently, Weiner and her attorney, Darren Heitner of Heitner Legal P.L.L.C, didn’t.
I’m particularly perplexed by this statement in the panelist’s summary: Complainant states that although Respondent registered the Domain Name on May 22, 2006, Respondent is not using the Domain Name for any commercial purposes.
It’s clear that Euchner has used the domain to promote his writing services. There are multiple records in Archive.org.
According to Euchner, Weiner first reached out to him in 2016 to express concern about potential confusion. Weiner sent a cease and desist letter in February 2021, about five years later.
In finding reverse domain name hijacking, National Arbitration Forum panelist Clive Elliot wrote:
It is reasonable to infer that Complainant knew or should have known that she was unable to prove that Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name and that Respondent registered and is using the Domain Name in bad faith. The Panel considers that there is sufficient evidence to this effect, and accordingly that reverse domain name hijacking has occurred…
…Under the circumstances the Panel is satisfied that Complainant knew that Respondent had registered and used the Domain Name well before she had, but nevertheless attempted to prevent him from using the Domain Name as he had previously done, and in doing so and bringing this complaint engaged in reverse domain name hijacking.
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Author: Andrew Allemann