A panel of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) found Candy Cloud IP LLC guilty of reverse domain name (pdf) hijacking in a particularly egregious case. And weirdly, a bunch of people named Mike Morgan were told about the decision.
The plaintiff filed a complaint on CandyCloud.com against a Mike Morgan in Canada.
Morgan registered the domain long before the plaintiff had trademark rights to the term. In an attempt to overcome this obvious shortcoming, the Complainant referred to the registration of another company’s mark (now abandoned) as if it somehow showed bad faith.
The panel bought nothing and discovered reverse domain name hijacking.
So why have many Mike Morgans heard of this case?
One of Candy Cloud IP’s arguments was that Morgan owned 768 domain names, apparently to show that the respondent was up to something nefarious.
Here’s the problem: a simple review of the reverse Whois lookup showed that many of these domains had to do the other Mike Morgans, including a founding partner of Morgan Sports Law, a graphic designer, a photographer, the president of a engineering, the director of Morgan Analytics in Texas, and others.
So when the PMOI sent the notice of decision, they sent it to the owners of over 50 domains unrelated to the case. And he copied them all, exposing their email addresses.
Joel Huotari of WilliamsMcCarthy LLP represented the plaintiff. John Berryhill represented the owner of the estate.