from the total-failure dept
It appears that the whole thing has backfired badly on Ron Paul. He failed in his attempt to seize both domain names and was also found guilty of reverse domain hijacking on the .org account, for filing the demand for it after it had already been offered to him for free.
On the use of the .com, the panel found the following:
As Respondent puts it, expressing support and devotion to Ron Paul’s political ideals is a legitimate interest that does not require Complainant’s authorization or approval. Moreover, Respondent’s legitimate interest in the Domain Name is strong because the site provides a place for political speech, which is at the heart of what the United States Constitution’s First Amendment is designed to protect. In this way, the Panel is persuaded by Respondent’s arguments and evidence that Respondent is making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the Domain Name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish any trademark at issue. Moreover, Respondent has submitted evidence that there are multiple, very clear disclaimers on the website to which the Domain Name links, indicating that the site is not Complainant’s official site. In regards to Complainant’s arguments that the website is actually a “pretext for commercial advantage”, the Panel finds the website linked to the Domain Name is primarily a noncommercial service, while the products advertised and sold are ancillary to the site’s primary purpose as a source of news and information about Ron Paul, and serving as political forum. Moreover, Respondent’s use meets the criteria for a nominative fair use, as stated in a number of UDRP cases.Yeah. Ron Paul loses out because the First Amendment is even stronger than he believes it to be. How about that?
The fact that the owners offered the .org for free plays heavily into the decision:
Finally, related to Respondent’s second main point, there is no evidence that Respondent has attempted to corner the market of domain names to prevent Complainant from reflecting his alleged RON PAUL mark in a domain name. To the contrary, the evidence indicates that in 2013 Respondent offered to give Complainant theAnd it's this point that leads to the panel saying that Paul was engaged in reverse domain hijacking.
Domain Name for free.
Respondent has requested, based on the evidence presented, that the Panel make a finding of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking. In view of the unique facts of this case, in which the evidence demonstrates that Respondent offered to give the Domain NameWhile this may just make Ron Paul hate the UN even more, perhaps it'll drive home the point that his initial attack on the fan site was ridiculous.
to Complainant for no charge, with no strings attached, the Panel is inclined to agree. Instead of accepting the Domain Name, Complainant brought this proceeding. A finding of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking seems to this Panel to be appropriate in the circumstances.