Well this is just getting crazy – another UDRP filed against a three character .COM

udrp-three-character-dot-coms

Over the last few weeks I’ve been talking about three character .COMs and citing a couple examples of UDRPs that have been filed against them. First I covered ADO.com which was one of the most ridiculous and scary UDRP decisions I’ve ever seen, then three days ago I wrote about AEX.com and the UDRP filed against it…and then today I was reading DomainInvesting.com (one of my personal favorite domain blogs) and boom – another UDRP filed against a three character .COM:

A UDRP was filed against the valuable three letter .com domain name, OST.com. The UDRP was filed at the World Intellectual Property Organization, and it is listed as Case Details for WIPO Case D2018-0418. (Source – DomainInvesting.com)

So…yeah, three character .COMs are looking like risky territory to me. Unlike most industries, spending five or six-figures on an asset in the domain name world doesn’t mean you actually have the right to own what you bought.

While cryptocurrencies are definitely about as risky as you can get, if I spend $50,000 on Bitcoin, nobody can suddenly claim that they own that Bitcoin, it’s mine fair and square. In the domain name world, I could spend $50,000 on a three character .COM and a day later someone could file a UDRP and take the domain, and I’m out $50k.

As a domain investor that owns exactly zero three character .COMs I can tell you I’m not planning on buying any in the near future. It is very clear to me that three character .COMs are clear targets of the broken UDRP system, they are riskier than cryptocurrencies and I’m urging everyone who invests in domains like this to be very careful. Don’t investing any money into a three character .COM that you’re not prepared to lose.

Of course you can still defend UDRP after UDRP but at a certain point in time that $50,000 turns into an $100,000+ investment once you factor in the legal fees to protect it. This means that flipping for $75k goes from a nice profit to a pretty disappointing loss.

What do you think? Am I being overly dramatic? What can we do to make short domain names like this a safer asset class to invest in? I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!

{ 11 comments… add one }

  • Tauseef February 24, 2018, 3:39 am

    A three letter domain can be a dictionary word like the sky or could be an acronym for a series of words. It’s absurd to note that some entity comes and claim it through a udrp channel.
    Holding onto such an asset is not entirely free from risk. But, the what if analysis for the funds should not be just limited to crypto assets.
    Appreciate if someone has the data to show the number of UDRP’s filed against 3L and the percentage of cases won by the respondents.

    Reply
  • Logan February 24, 2018, 7:38 am

    Not so much being overdramatic but perhaps not fully logical or correct in parts. 🙂

    “Unlike most industries, spending five or six-figures on an asset in the domain name world doesn’t mean you actually have the right to own what you bought.”

    Kinda, but not exactly. If you are not intentionally targeting someone else’s preceding trademark rights when you buy your LLL.com then you DO in fact have the right to own what you bought. You bought it fair and square and you are indisputably the legal right-holder to the domain name registration. The problem is 1) unethical or undereducated lawyers and their clients using the UDRP in bad faith (knowing better that you have lawful rights but filing anyway) to attempt to wrongfully violate your lawful rights for a few thousand dollars in out of pocket expenses for them, and 2) at the same time, ill-informed or illogical or biased UDRP panelists inconsistently applying the UDRP policy to these particular UDRP filings. It’s not true to say you do not have rights to the name; you do. Your rights are intact. The problem is the bad faith and incompetent efforts of other parties leading to your rights being violated through an unjust system.

    “It is very clear to me that three character .COMs are clear targets of the broken UDRP system, they are riskier than cryptocurrencies and I’m urging everyone who invests in domains like this to be very careful. Don’t investing any money into a three character .COM that you’re not prepared to lose.”

    Kinda, but not exactly. Cryptocurrencies are far riskier than LLL.com. You and I can readily agree that there is a 100% probability that many if not most cryptocurrencies in our portfolios today are going to be worth $0.00 in the near future. We may not know the date, but we know the final ending price: $0.00. We know this with certainty because of Pets.com and other analogous Dot Com darlings of the late 1990s and early 2000s that were high priced due to human mania and then wound up at $0.00 when human reason kicked in and the price-to-value reckoning finally occurred. That same reckoning is coming to cryptocurrencies with certainty. We don’t know yet which ones are going to $0.00 or which one or two are going to be the next Amazon.com or Google.com, but we know most will implode and “investors” will end up with nothing. Winter is indeed coming.

    A LLL.com is far different. Your LLL.com is not going to $0.00 soon due to a lack of demonstrable value. You know it has market value because we can readily establish its value range through comparable sales from the global secondary market for “used” domain names. At base, it has some minimum value due to those comps. You may or may not have a UDRP targeted at you. If you targeted the preceding rights of a trademark holder when you bought it, then, yes it’s highly likely the UDRP process will be used against you. If you did not target any preceding rights, then it is not probable that the UDRP process will be used against you. Yes, it could happen and recent high profile UDRP filings make it seem like it is more probable than not, but it’s much more probable that half of your cryptocurrency portfolio will be going to $0.00 soon than your LLL.com will be going to $0.00.

    You are correct though about one aspect of LLL.com ownership being riskier: if you choose to defend a UDRP (an option), your LLL.com just became a negative cash flow liability. You will be spending at least $5,000 to defend it through arbitration. You could end up spending $100,000 to defend it in U.S. Federal court. You would not have that particular risk with cryptocurrencies. When your cryptocurrencies go to $0.00, you only lose the capital you initially put at risk, unless of course you used leverage to buy the cryptocurrencies, either through debt funding or futures contracts. With a UDRP or court filing on a LLL.com, you could lose what you initially put at risk plus all that negative cash flow inherent to legal expenses. Even if you win the UDRP or court case, you may never recover the legal costs in full when you finally sell your LLL.com. You will likely get at least some partial recovery at sale though, and that’s a saving grace in a very unfortunate — yet still improbable — situation.

    Long term, a diversified portfolio of LLL.com will likely outperform a diversified portfolio of cryptocurrencies and will do so with less risk of a total loss.

    Reply
    • Uknowledge February 24, 2018, 8:33 am

      You hit the nail on the head,Logan.Big difference between LLL.com and Crypto.

      Reply
    • Morgan February 24, 2018, 5:13 pm

      Thanks @Logan and solid points as always, appreciate you sharing your opinion!

      Reply
  • Jose February 24, 2018, 12:03 pm

    Hello Morgan, you do not have to go far the other day to see this ADO (Association of Olympic Sports), an advertisement of Telefonica Spain in a paper newspaper that is called “La Vanguardia ·” http://www.lavanguardia.com

    Reply
  • Jose February 24, 2018, 12:07 pm

    Hello Morgan ,

    In Spanish written is like this ADO (Asociación de Deportes Olímpicos)

    Reply
  • Eric Lyon February 24, 2018, 5:28 pm

    Sounds like a scary game of cat and mouse. I suppose these days a 3 letter .com investor needs to be well seasoned in the art of the domain industry and well versed in the field of intellectual property.

    Reply
  • Vivek February 24, 2018, 6:47 pm

    I maybe asking a naive question here, but I still will.
    At the end of the day, the aim of every business is to drive valid, meaningful traffic to their websites. This cannot be achieved only by buying the correct LLL.com. It takes a lot of other efforts to achieve the desired result.
    How important it is then for new brands/companies to spend over $10K just on the brand name knowing the threat that comes with it.
    Comments and thoughts please.

    Reply
  • Jose February 25, 2018, 1:12 am

    The three letters as ADO as the abbreviation of what I present yesterday and today I give another ADO Association of Disabled Oceans there are a thousand key words to give a meaning to ADO which is not valid is the Mexican transport company that took it to WIPO Francois Carrillo.

    I give an example to a trademark consilidated for many years IBM (
    Incredible business mine) this that I write is not IBM is the same thing that happens with ADO that should not be a UDRP.

    Reply
  • Igor Mironyuk February 27, 2018, 1:22 am

    In this article all about risks on 3 character .COM but what’s .NET?
    2 or 3 character .NET Do you know about UDRP cases on 2 or 3 character .NET domains?

    Reply
  • Tauseef February 27, 2018, 11:25 am

    Found a good resource for domain disputes. I checked it.
    it has filters to check by length, decisions, extensions, etc.
    https://www.dndisputes.com/case/domain/length/3/
    It shows 46% domains of 3 character length have resulted in transfer decision!

    Reply

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