HDR Global Trading Limited v. Super Privacy Service LTD c/o Dynadot, 2019 NAFDD LEXIS 1176 (Decided August 30, 2019)[NMR]
Another week another CCM write-up that illustrates the importance of brands. A brand is a lot of things. Sure, there are the trademark filings, for things like corporate names, product names, logos, slogans, but there are also issues related to domain names, social media and so on. This filing is related to a domain name dispute and the filing is another entry in the narrative that The Space is slowly maturing.
This proceeding took place through the ICANN Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy. What’s ICANN, and the UDNDRP? ICANN is the non-profit that manages IP numbers and the domain name system. The UDNDRP is the system in place to handle disputes over domains. If that sounds familiar to you dear reader it’s because Drew Hinkes wrote an excellent guest post about a domain name dispute in CCM #24. That write-up involved a crypto exchange, Bittrex, and so does this one. Great, who is involved?
The claimant, that’s the entity that initiated this proceeding, is crypto mega company HDR Global Trading Limited, but you may know them as BitMEX. Dynadot is San Mateo, CA-based company that offers a variety of services related to purchasing a domain name, hosting a domain, and other related services. What happened here? Well, Dynadot registered a domain name bitmexnakamoto.com and Bitmex did not take kindly to that.
On July 19, 2019, BitMEX applied to register a trademark for Bitmex Nakamoto as part of additional offerings in its business. Four days later Dynadot registered the domain name. On August 2nd BitMEX initiated these proceedings, and on August 5th Dynadot confirmed receipt of the complaint. Now, you may be thinking why is any of this happening? Well, as stated in this decision, Dynadot “is bound by the Dynadot, LLC registration agreement and has thereby agreed to resolve domain disputes brought by third parties in accordance with ICANN’s Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy.” That means that Dynadot is bound by the decision of the UDNDRP process, and can’t say they were unfairly brought into this. Domain name companies register lots of domain names. What’s the big deal?
Turns out Dynadot registered the domain name and then immediately started redirecting people to a site that listed Bitmex Nakamoto as being for sale for $3,900. This, as the decision shows, was an indication of a registration in bad faith, and one of the reasons that the UDNDRP is ordering that the domain be transferred to BitMEX.
Notice, we didn’t talk about Dynadot responding to the initial complaint other than acknowledging its existence and admitting they were bound to the UDNDRP process. In fact, Dynadot didn’t even file a response through the UDNDRP, why? Who knows but, well, sometimes you know your goose is cooked, and there’s no point in fighting. Maybe that was why.