The first controversial Uniform Rapid Suspension decision? Probably not.
An self-described “entrepreneur” from Texas has lost control of the domain dana.holdings after a URS complaint filed by Dana Holding, a vehicle component supplier. The domain has been suspended.
It’s the first URS case where the second-level string, in this case “dana”, has a hypothetical multitude of uses not related to the trademark holder’s brand.
The respondent, one Farris Nawas, said in his URS response:
Dana is a common Middle Eastern female name. My family is of Middle Eastern descent. My intention is to establish a holding company in my native country and not in the United States. Upon my registration of the domain name www.Dana.Holdings, I discovered that Dana Holdings is nationally registered in the United states. Out of Courtesy, I approached Dana Limited corporation myself to let them know that I have registered the domain name with the intention of starting my own holding company.
The National Arbitration Forum URS examiner, Darryl Wilson, didn’t buy it
While Nawas was not wrong about Dana being a common first name, I feel I’m on pretty safe ground saying the excuse about starting his own holding company was utter nonsense.
Nawas owns over 200 domains, most of which were registered during the first days of new gTLDs general availability and many of which appear to be cut-and-dried cases of outright cybersquatting.
He was called out by Forbes for registering tommyhilfiger.clothing. I’ve discovered he also owns such as names 4san.ventures and akfen.holdings, among others, which also seem to match company names.
Evidence of a pattern of cybersquatting can be used by URS panels to find bad faith, but that doesn’t seem to have happened in this case.
Rather, Wilson seems to have taken Nawas’ offer to sell the domain to Dana for “an unspecified amount” as evidence that he’s a wrong ‘un. Wilson found his explanation “dubious at best”.