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UDRP panel: listen to John Berryhill

Grocer fails to heed John Berryhill’s good advice.

Picture of masked man with the words reverse domain name hijacking

A New York grocery chain has been found guilty of reverse domain name hijacking after it filed a cybersquatting case against the domain name

D’Agostinos Markets, Inc. filed the case even though domain name attorney John Berryhill clearly explained to it why it would lose a UDRP and likely be found to have engaged in reverse domain name hijacking, according to the decision.

The grocery chain sent a cease & desist letter to the owner, Lulu D’Agostino Murphy. Notice the family name.

Berryhill responded, explaining why the case was bunk.

In finding reverse domain name hijacking, the National Arbitration Forum panel wrote:

Complainant was on notice in a letter authored by John Berryhill, Esq., Respondent’s then counsel in response to Complainant’s cease and desist letter setting forth in great detail the relevant facts demonstrating Respondent’s rights or legitimate interests in… Mr. Berryhill informed Complainant that the domain name was purchased by Respondent’s father Joseph D’Agostino and used by him in connection with his computer business, and subsequently transferred to and used by Respondent in her business in the same field. Complainant was also informed that if he were to proceed with the UDRP Complaint Respondent would counterclaim Reverse Domain Name Hijacking.

Complainant knew or should have known from Mr. Berryhill’s voluminous references to cases and law and that the domain name was registered and is being held by a member of the D’Agostino family, all set forth in detail, that its Complaint had no chance of succeeding on the merits. It was, in short, a complaint that should never have been launched.

The panel was also frustrated that the Complainant was unfamiliar with the jurisprudence of UDRP and its evidentiary demands.

Although Berryhill sent the response to the cease & desist letter, Brett Lewis of Lews & Lin represented the domain owner in the UDRP. Nicholas C. Katsoris represented the grocery chain.

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Author: Andrew Allemann

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