Innoviti’s argument about non-use was false.
A large payments company tried to reverse domain name hijack innoviti.com.co, a World Intellectual Property Organization panel has ruled.
Innoviti Technologies Private Limited, which uses the domain name innoviti.com, filed the dispute against Innoviti S.A.S., a Colombian technology company. (.Co is the country code for Colombia.)
Anyone visiting the domain name in question would see that the domain was being used by a legitimate business. Yet, the Complainant stated (pdf):
The Respondent is not using the Disputed Domain Name in connection with bona fide offering of goods or services. To the best of the Complainant’s knowledge (a) the Respondent is not conducting any meaningful business under the name and mark INNOVITI to warrant registration of the Disputed Domain Name in its name; and (b) the Respondent is not commonly known by the Disputed Domain Name. This establishes it beyond doubt that the Respondent has no legitimate rights and/or interests in the disputed domain name
This was enough for panelist Nick Gardner to consider reverse domain name hijacking even though the domain owner didn’t respond:
The Complaint contains the following certification “The Complainant certifies that the information contained in this Complaint is to the best of the Complainant’s knowledge complete and accurate, that this Complaint is not being presented for any improper purpose, such as to harass, and that the assertions in this Complaint are warranted under the Rules and under applicable law, as it now exists or as it may be extended by a good-faith and reasonable argument”.
The Panel does not see how that certification can properly have been given. As indicated above the Complaint is absolutely silent about the Respondent’s Website and contains no information of any kind (such page 5 as for example screenshots) about it. Instead, it says “The Respondent is not using the Disputed Domain Name in connection with bona fide offering of goods or services”. The Complainant or its representatives presumably must have visited the Respondent’s Website. The Panel notes that the Complaint contains this statement “The Disputed Domain Name gives an unmistakable impression as if the Disputed Domain Name has something to do with the Complainant and/or its services, which is certainly not the case. This is more so considering the fact that the Respondent claims to be engaged in technology related services”,] which would seem to confirm that the Respondent’s Website had been reviewed. Overall, the Panel regards the Complaint as highly misleading given the Respondent’s Website clearly relates to a bona fide business. Thus, for example the statement that “To the best of the Complainant’s knowledge (a) the Respondent is not conducting any meaningful business under the name and mark INNOVITI to warrant registration of the Disputed Domain Name in its name” was at best highly misleading and at worst simply untrue.
The Panel is unfortunately left with the distinct impression that the Complainant and/or its representatives will have been well aware that the Respondent’s Website indicated the Respondent was carrying out a bona fide business and chose not to tell the Panel that was the case. The Panel should be able to rely upon the certification given in the Complaint and deplores what appears to be an attempt to mislead the Panel. The only sanction available to the Panel is to make a finding of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking and the Panel so finds.
The Complainant also gave the wrong date for registration of the domain.
Perhaps most amazing is that the Complainant went through the hassle of filing this case and didn’t bother to register the second level version of the domain, innoviti .co.
K&S Partners represented the Complainant.
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