Owner of vgw .co tries to reverse hijack matching .com

Domain owner registered the domain many years before Complainant existed.

The words "Reverse Domain Name Hijacking" in yellow on a black background

A World Intellectual Property Organization panelist has ruled (pdf) that the online gambling company that uses vgw.co for its website tried to reverse domain name hijack vgw.com.

VGW Holdings Limited, an Australian company, has operated its site at vgw.co since 2010. It also has several trademark registrations for VGW. But Hyundoo Shin registered vgw.com in 2002, so this case was dead on arrival. (Even if he registered the domain later, it isn’t easy to prove cybersquatting with a three-letter domain.)

Panelist Kathryn Lee found in the domain owner’s favor and determined this was a case of reverse domain name hijacking. She wrote:

Here, the disputed domain name was registered well before the Complainant acquired trademark rights or even came into existence, so it would have been impossible for the Respondent to have registered the disputed domain name to target the Complainant and its mark. The Complainant should surely have known that the Complaint could not succeed based on these facts, and proceeding with this Complaint can only be viewed as an attempt to deprive a registered domain-name holder of a domain name.

Therefore, the Panel finds that the Complaint was brought in bad faith, in an attempt at Reverse Domain Name Hijacking, and constitutes an abuse of the administrative proceeding.

VGW’s in-house counsel represented it in the filing. Ankur Raheja of CyLaw Solutions represented the domain owner.

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