If you invest in domain names, a recent UDRP decision should scare you


A recent UDRP decision was brought to my attention by the ICA, and honestly, it’s a scary one. If this sets a precedent it honestly could make it very challenging to invest in domain names going forward. Elliot Silver, author of popular Domaining blog DomainInvesting.com covered this controversial decision, here’s the gist of it:

“Respondent’s apparent belief at the time it registered <devex.org> that someone, at some time in the future, might cultivate trademark rights in DEVEX which Respondent could then exploit obviates any requirement that to succeed under the UDRP the respondent must have contemplated a particular trademark holder and/or a particular trademark.” (Source – DomainInvesting.com)

What this decision essentially said is that if you buy a domain name and years later someone decides, “hey I want to use that domain for my business but I don’t want to pay you for it” they could just get a Trademark and – poof – the UDRP process would give them the name. This is scary, really scary.

The ICA has issued a statement on CircleID that’s definitely worth reading and hopefully will help prevent this specific UDRP decision from setting a new standard. Still, the fact that this happened could send ripples through the domain investing world for years to come and honestly could change the dynamics of the entire industry forever.



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