This is why companies file UDRP cases they probably shouldn’t win

You never know when you’ll get lucky.

UDRP in red on a cream background

Type Lions Head into your search bar, and you’ll see results for Lion’s Head mountain in South Africa, a pork meatball, an investment banking firm, and a place called Lion’s Head in Canada. Type in Lionshead, and you’ll likely see results for a wheel company, a brewery, and a resort in Colorado.

Search the U.S. Patent and Trademark office for Lionshead, and you’ll see two entries: one filed in 1992 by the aforementioned brewery and one filed in 2020 by the aforementioned wheel company.

That wheel company, Lionshead Specialty Tire & Wheel LLC, just won a UDRP against Lionshead.com.

Lionshead.com was registered in 2002 and might have changed hands in 2010. While the wheel company’s recent trademark application claims first use in 2007, this still seems like a longshot UDRP given the lack of targeting.

But if the domain owner doesn’t respond…

And that’s what happened. Domain Vault LLC didn’t respond to the dispute, and National Arbitration Forum panelist Charles Kuechenmeister found in the Complainant’s favor.

It would have taken just a basic retort by the domain owner to defend this case properly. Yet it lost and the wheel company gets to upgrade from LionsheadTireandWheel.com to Lionshead.com (barring a lawsuit to block the transfer).

This is why we see companies file disputes that aren’t clear-cut cases of cybersquatting. You never know when you’re going to get lucky. This type of case is bad for UDRP.

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