First Canadian Reverse Domain Hijacking Finding

April 20, 2009

Globe Media International Corporation tried to grab the generic domain from Bonfire Development, Inc., through a CDRP proceeding (the Canadian equivalent of the UDRP) and failed.  Not only did it fail, but it resulted in Canada’s first ever finding of Reverse Domain Hijacking.


In January of this year, the domain dropped.  After it was caught, it was purchased by Bonfire Development for $29,000 CDN.


The plaintiff had a trademark on the domain  Although one might ask how they managed to trademark that term, the CDRP does not allow the panel to go behind the trademark.  In the circumstances, the panel found that the domain was confusingly similar to the trademark.

Bad Faith

Next, the panel analysed whether the domain was registered in bad faith.  They found that it was not, and made some statements that I consider very positive.  They state:  “the disputed domain is a generic term over which the Complainant in this particular case cannot claim exclusivity.  This is so despite being the owner of a trade-mark that is confusing with the domain name.  The term “for sale” is clearly and obviously a commonly used term by businesses and members of the public to say the least, and is one over which the Complainant would be hard pressed to assert a monopoly.”

It’s clear that the Panel understands what a generic domain is and the importance of a generic name being avaialable to all members of the public.  Kudos to them for this.

The Panel further stated:  “There is no question that the Respondent, or related parties, have been found in the past to have engaged in the practice of cyber-squatting.  In particular, Shaun Pilford, who appears to be related to the Respondent, is known to domain name panels.  However, this is not relevant to this particular case… While the Panel does not endorse the Respondent’s unauthorized domain name registrations, it needs to be proven that the Respondent was cyber-squatting in this case.”

That’s good news too.  Too often in UDRP decisions, if you lose one, you’re at high risk of losing all future cases because you’ve been branded a cybersquatter.  The Panel is correct just to look at the case before it, not the reputation of the parties.

Reverse Domain Name Hijacking

The Complainant had previously tried to get this domain before it dropped via the CDRP and failed.  Now it failed a second time and the Respondent asked for a finding of reverse domain name hijacking.

The Panel found that the Complainant has a history of registering trademarks for .ca domains of well known brands.  The Complainant had registered,,, and also filed trademark applications for,, and  The Panel found that the Complainant had an extensive history of abusing trademarks to try to give it rights to domains it should not have, including in this case.

Adding all of this to the fact that the domain is generic, the Panel found that this was Reverse Domain Name Hijacking and in fact stated that the Complainant appears to have engaged in filching.

Costs have yet to be decided, but the CDRP allows cost awards of up to $5,000.

Congrats to lawyer for the respondent Zak Muscovitch for obtaining this finding!

Rick’s Adult Domain Auction – Results, Analysis, Opportunities

April 7, 2009

There has been a lot of discussion in the domainersphere lately about Rick Latona’s Adult Domain Auction held at The Phoenix Forum.  However, I haven’t seen the results posted anywhere.  Here they are: -$1.00 – $50.00 – $75.00 – $100.00 – $4,750.00 – $350.00 – $175.00 – $150.00 Video Package 1 – $200.00 – $100.00
Offshoring Package 1 – $200.00 – $50.00 – $125.00 Video Package 2 – $2,300.00 Hosting Package 1 – $300.00
Lot of 25 Adult Domains – $200.00 – $10.00 – $20.00 Website Traffic Package 1 – $2,800.00 Video Package 1 – $300.00 Hosting Package 2 – $1,000.00 Hosting Package 3 – $1,500.00 – $101,000.00
Offshoring Package 2 – $400.00 – $30.00 – $500.00 – $80.00 – $125.00
Offshoring Package 3 – $1,100.00 Website Traffic Package 2 – $1,400.00 – $275.00 – $75.00
RibbedDildo(s).com and RibbedVibrator(s).com – $150.00
NaughtyHusband(s).com – $75.00 – $30.00

Total – $117,926.00

As you can see, except for the sale of, there were no major sales.  Interestingly enough, the non-domain items seemed to sell much better than the domains.


I’ve thought this for a long time, but now we’ve finally have proof of it – domain auctions are purely wholesale events.  If an end user gets involved, it’s fortunate, but a rare occurrence.

After practically every live auction event, the domainersphere and the forums buzz about how the auction results would have been much better if only the auction house had spent a lot of time and money marketing the domains to end users.  That has never made sense to me – the chance of an enduser wanting and a needing a particular domain at the precise moment the auction is held is very low.  Add in the unfamiliar and somewhat intimidating auction environment, and you can see why not many endusers get involved.

For this auction, Rick pulled out all the stops.  He put together a great lineup of domains with good (and often no) reserves.  The list of domains was announced well in advance, instead of the last minute announcement we normally see for live auction events.  He made sure that the domains were targeted at a particular industry, and held the auction at that industry’s main conference, when all the players were in one spot.  He heavily marketed the auction to these endusers.

In short, Rick basically did everything right (although there were some technical difficulties on the day of the auction).  Despite this, the auction results were disappointing.

On a personal note, I admire Rick for having the guts to do something different.  The most successful people are the ones who fail the most, as they are the ones who are constantly trying new things.  As well, Rick owned up to what happened instead of playing the politician.  Plus, he’s got some brand new strategies for selling to endusers based on what he’s learned from this experience – and I think these will work well.


Rick’s loss is your gain.  The names that didn’t sell, as well as a whole host of other quality names, are now available in an online extended auction.  You can see what is available here.  Highlights of the auction include:

The auction run until 2.00 p.m. Sunday EDT. Get your bids in now.