The National Arbitration Forum has released two UDRP decisions involving payment services company Paymentus Corporation. Paymentus won one case and was found guilty of reverse domain name hijacking in the other.
Let’s start with his victory.
The company won a case against paymentus.co, owned by zhang wei / zhangwei. It was registered last year, long after Paymentus filed trademarks for its brand. The domain resolved into a pay-per-click lander with payment-related advertisements. According to Paymentus, the domain was also used to send fraudulent messages claiming to be from the complainant.
Panelist David Sorkin had no problem deciding in favor of Paymentus.
Now for the reverse domain name hijacking case. The big difference in this one was the dates.
Paymentus filed a lawsuit against ipnpaymentus.com, which was registered in 2014. This was before Paymentus registered its trademark in 2016, although that trademark claims first commercial use in 2005.
The company provided no evidence that it was using its trademark at the time. She also failed to provide evidence that the domain was used in a phishing scheme, which she alleged in her complaint. The domain owner did not respond.
Yet he wrote “Because the PAYMENTUS mark was registered at the time Defendant registered the domain, it is presumed that Defendant had knowledge of the mark.”
This statement is false. And that’s why panelist Alan Limbury found this is a case of reverse domain name hijacking.
While most cases of reverse domain name hijacking involve clear malicious intent on the part of the plaintiff, I have to wonder if the attorneys here made an honest error in their wording. Nonetheless, claiming rights dating back to long before the trademark was registered without providing evidence, and alleging use in a phishing scheme in the absence of evidence, were big omissions.