Reverse domain name hijacking in oovo.com dispute

A somewhat novel expiration argument false flat on its face.

Screenshot from oovostraw.com shows vocal straws

A company that sells vocal devices at Oovostraw.com (pictured) tried to reverse domain name hijack oovo.com.

A National Arbitration Forum panelist has found Vacation Pig, LLC d.b.a OOVO guilty of reverse domain name hijacking in its attempt to get oovo.com.

The Complainant uses the domain name oovostraw.com to sell devices that help musicians with their vocal tracts. In late 2019, it reached out to the owner of oovo.com and inquired about buying the domain because “my partner and I have a company we’re starting up and running from our one bedroom apt.”

Oovo had been around for a couple of years at that point. Its multiple trademarks for oovo claim first use dating to 2017. The problem for the Complainant was that the current owner registered the domain in 2014, so he couldn’t have registered the domain to target the non-existent mark.

I’ll give the Complainant creativity points, though. We’ve all heard the “renewed in bad faith” argument, where a Complainant argues that the initial registration wasn’t in bad faith, but then the domain was renewed in bad faith. Well, Vacation Pig added a novel argument. It argued that the 2020 renewal occurred during the Redemption Grace Period and that this sets up a unique circumstance where it should count as a new registration.

Panelist Steven Levy shot down that argument.

In finding reverse domain name hijacking, Levy noted that even if the Complainant had shown a 2020 “re-registration,” it didn’t show that the domain owner targeted it in any way.

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