The WWE brings the Smackdown to WWE.ORG Domain Name!
The typical person would cringe at the thought of taking on the massive size of Vince McMahon, both physically and as an entrepreneurial wrestling conglomerate. Now, forget about the scope of this organization and the huge guys it employs, and add in his legal team.
His net worth alone could buy damn near anything he ever dreamed of and what that doesn’t cover his checkbook will! So, for an “Unnamed Respondent” to challenge the World Wrestling Entertainment Organization as a means of retaining ownership of the WWE.org domain name was senseless. Especially if you’ve already attempted unethical practices regarding the domain, including questionable use, offers for sale, and excessive pricing well above overhead costs associated with the domain.
Here’s where NOTHING makes sense, after obtaining the domain, the John Doe Domain Holder owner parked the domain. Just a few months later though, the domain was offered for sale to Vince’s organization at a cost of $50,000. At this point, he’s already demonstrated bad faith, and anything he could have done with the site became essentially unethical.
Shortly after the September 4th sale offer, John Doe Domain Holder resolved the name by promoting pay-per-click links to other websites. Yet just a few weeks later, the website took on a new identity, as John Doe Domain Holder changes the landing page to appear as though the site was being used by “Western Women Entrepreneurs”. And has since changed again to display an Under Construction landing page, rather than an active webpage.
If John Doe Domain Holder isn’t guilty of anything, his appearances wouldn’t testify to that! While he claims that the domain name is simply comprised of 3 generic letters that could be an acronym for just about anything, isn’t taking into account is that the WWE is trademarked which automatically gives Vince slightly more rights to the domain, even without providing evidence of shady dealings regarding the name.
It’s rather hard to convince anyone that you had no clue of the organization, its members, revenues, or other aspects of business that might tie it directly to the domain prior to obtaining the domain in April. Especially considering your contact to offer the domain sale directly to the owner of the WWE trademark.
It’s equally hard to convince a panel of decision makers that you didn’t target the WWE Organization. While evidence was provided regarding marketing the domain name for sale, John Doe Domain Holder stated he was in the business of selling domain names leading the panel to conclude that John Doe Domain Holder’s sales efforts demonstrated bad faith, in that the domain was registered with the intent of capitalizing on the WWE trademark and as a broker is subject to actual knowledge of the World Wrestling Entertainment rights in its marks, which in this case are identical.
After the considerable amount of eye-rolling due to the lame claims and responses John Doe Domain Holder provided, WWE.ORG was awarded to its rightful owners by the UDRP…. Not for $50,000, not without due diligence, and not unjustly by any stretch of the imagination.