Italian clothing company Malo tries reverse domain hijacking

Company filed cybersquatting dispute after failing to buy a domain name it wanted.

Picture of a gold skull and crossbones with the words "reverse domain name hijacking"

Italian clothing company Malo S.p.A. tried to reverse domain name hijack the domain malo.com, a World Intellectual Property Organization panel has determined.

The company uses the domain name malo.it and coveted the matching .com. It first tried to buy the domain name because “a business activity in a global world makes a TLD “.com” useful for global business.”

That’s all well and good, except that a guy named Nicolas Malo registered the domain name way back in 1999.

The company apparently ignored the need to show that the domain owner lacked a right or legitimate interest in the domain name in order to win a cybersquatting case. The fact that the owner’s surname is Malo meant this case was dead on arrival.

Panelist Piotr Nowaczyk wrote:

The Panel believes that the Complainant should have appreciated at the outset that its Complaint could not succeed. In particular, the Complainant has not demonstrated any circumstances indicating that it was being targeted via the Domain Name and that it would be able to prove registration in bad faith. It appears to the Panel that the Complainant only launched the Complaint after unsuccessfully attempting to acquire the Domain Name in the past. The Complainant suggests the importance of the Domain Name for its business claiming that “a business activity in a global world makes a TLD “.com” useful for global business”. In the Panel’s opinion, these circumstances point in the direction of a finding of RDNH.

Porta & Consulenti Associati S.p.A. represented Malo S.p.A., and John Berryhill represented the domain name owner.

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