Chemicals company fails to get .com version of its domain through UDRP…and the price just went up.

The initialism UDRP for "uniform domain name dispute resolution policy" in black and blue on a black and blue background

Domain investor Mike Mann’s company DomainMarket.com has successfully defended the domain name harima.com in a UDRP.

Harima Chemicals Group, Inc. of Japan filed the UDRP. The company stated that it was founded in 1947 and has used harima.co.jp since 1996. However, its trademarks for Harima weren’t registered until 2015. Mann’s company acquired the domain in 2008.

Panelist Assen Alexiev determined that Harima Chemicals did not produce sufficient evidence that it had common law rights in the term before 2008 and that Mann was targeting the company with its registration. Harima is a province in Japan and the first result in Google for Harima when I search for it.

Alexiev wrote:

To support its contention for having unregistered trademark rights, the Complainant points out that it has established its base in the United States in 1980 and that it has used its domain name harima.co.jp for its global corporate website since 1996. The Complainant also submits that its global net sales in 1997 amounted to USD 2.3 million and that about 7 per cent of these sales were in the United States. The Complainant has however submitted no evidence in support of these factual statements, apart from a printout of the Wayback Machine as a source of information about the existence and content of its website in the past. The Wayback Machine represents a copy of the Complainant’s website at “www.harima.co.jp” as of June 30, 1998, which lists the subsidiaries of the Complainant, including four in the United States, one of which includes “Harima” as part of its corporate name, and a table showing the total amount of sales of the group in 1995, 1996, and 1997. It is not evident from this printout whether the Complainant has actually made any sales in the United States in 1997, and whether any of such sales were made under the HARIMA trademark. Apart from the printout of the Complainant’s website, there is no evidence about the nature and extent of advertising using the HARIMA trademark, and the Complainant has not submitted any evidence from independent sources about the degree of actual public recognition of the designation HARIMA or consumer surveys that would establish that the public in the United States recognizes it as a symbol that distinguishes the Complainant’s goods and services from those of others and that it has acquired a secondary meaning exclusively referring to the Complainant.

When the chemicals company filed the dispute, Harima.com was listed for sale with a $29,888 price. The price has gone up, though. It’s listed for $1 million today.

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