The company that took ADO.com via UDRP is now getting sued for Reverse Domain Name Hijacking

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Last week I wrote about what I think will go down as one of the worst UDRP decisions in history. In case you missed this one, here’s a quick recap. Well-known Domain Name Investor and publisher of the incredibly popular website Domaining.com lost ADO.com via UDRP.

What made this so ridiculous (to me at least) is that one of the reasons stated in the UDRP proceedings was that the asking price of $500,000 for the three letter .COM was “way too much.” It just so happens that the same day this UDRP was announced, a three letter .COM, DAX.com sold for $500,000 – how’s that for irony.

This particular UDRP decision really made me angry for two reasons:

  1. Every time a company wins a UDRP for a short, generic word like this, it becomes harder for investors to feel confident in investing and holding names like this as a real asset. In short, I think it’s bad decisions like these that threaten domain names as asset classes, and I wrote a post related to this yesterday about the risks of owning six-figure domain names.
  2. Francois is a really good guy who has done a ton for the domain industry. There’s no doubt in my mind that this is a $500,000 asset – and to watch a friend (okay we’ve never met but heck I’ve known Francois for 10 years!) lose a $500,000 asset is painful.

So I was very excited to read today on Domain Name Wire that Francois is fighting back and suing the company who in my mind stole a $500,000 asset from him.

Francois Carrillo, the owner of domain blog aggregator Domaining.com, has sued (pdf) Mexican bus company Autobuses dr Oriente ADO, S.A. de C.V. after a UDRP panel ordered his domain Ado.com transferred. He is seeking the UDRP to be overturned and is asking for a penalty for reverse domain name hijacking. (Source – DomainNameWire.com)

I’m looking forward to seeing justice served here and hopefully this case will be used in the future as a warning to other thieves who are thinking about abusing the UDRP system to steal domain names like this. Still, it’s going to cost Francois a pretty penny to defend himself here, and in the end he could spend all this additional money and still lose the domain name.

Your average domain investor doesn’t have the funds to defend a bad UDRP decision which is why, like I said in my post yesterday, I think there are real risks that come with owning six-figure domain names. While I hope Francois wins this one and it goes on to become an example for future cases, I still think there is a big issue that we just can’t ignore as an industry – UDRP is a broken process, it’s 2018, let’s fix it.

Go get em’ Francois, let’s use this decision as a solid foundation to build on. Let’s get the ICA more involved, let’s get individual investors more involved, otherwise – let’s be honest, domains are going to be an increasingly scary “asset class” for your average investor to feel safe parking their hard earned money in.

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{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Bob McGough February 13, 2018, 6:54 pm

    Would internetcommerce.org and/or thedna.org want to advocate for François with a friend-of-the-court brief? A case like this is where the rubber meets the road. Internet Commerce is involved with the UDRP process and has a history of fighting to keep the UDRP process sane.

    Reply
  • Francois February 13, 2018, 11:09 pm

    Thank you for your support Morgan.

    What people ignore is I tend to go with plan A when I have a dev project idea, this means I try to get the best possible domain name for my idea because this will give me an insane competition advance and will save me later some marketing dollars. The back of the medal is many times this forced me to get an expensive loan to be able to acquire the domain name.

    It was also the case when I purchased ADO.com, I did not have all the cash the seller wanted for the domain. So not only I proposed him to pick a name from my most valuable domains (he selected another LLL.com because he knew how valuable they are) to try to lower the acquisition price but ultimately I also needed to get a loan to be able to buy it.

    So imagine how you can be upset when someone you don’t know come and try to steal the domain name you bought for your project idea after so many efforts. This is not a way to act, it’s a shame and I will never admit. This is why I will vigorously pursue my U.S. court case to prevent my domain from being stolen and to force them pay damages for reverse domain name hijacking.

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