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Who is the domain name hijacker?

8 October 2010

Brand owners regularly have to deal with that unsavoury character – the domain name hijacker. However, the recent complaint filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Centre (the Centre) by M Corentin Benoit Thiercelin against CyberDeal shows how easily a complainant can become the hijacker rather than the hijacked.

Thiercelin asserted that CyberDeal had registered the domain name in question in bad faith in order to prevent him from reflecting the trade mark in a corresponding domain name. However, the Centre declared that as CyberDeal had registered the domain name well before Thiercelin registered his trade marks or acquired common law trade mark rights and, as there was no evidence that CyberDeal had been aware of Thiercelin’s plans to use the trade mark at the point of registration, the claim had been brought in bad faith constituting an abuse of the administrative proceedings. Thiercelin was attempting to use the complaints process to deprive a registered domain name holder of a domain name – Reverse Domain Name Hijacking . So brand owners think before complaining – are you a hijacker?

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