I thought you were referring to a "UDRP" but researched it more.
Here is a link to the RDRP Process. I am not familiar with it, but it looks like it applies to .BIZ only.
The fee schedule is as follows.
(1) Panelist - $1300.
(3) Panelists - $2600.
On top of that you are going to have lawyer fees to make a valid legal argument to support your dispute.
It also says this "An RDRP Complaint may be brought in conjunction with a UDRP Complaint against the same domain name.".
So it looks like you could also go the regular UDRP process if you can prove.
1.) Confusingly Similar to your TM..
2.) Registrant has no legitimate reason to own the domain..
3.) Domain is being used in bad faith.
Not knowing the name, your client probably has rights to file under either or both provision. However, just to play devils advocate, consider the following:.
1. It will cost the fees to file, successful or not..
2. If the name is at all generic, your client might not win under the UDRP, especially if you can't prove use or registration in bad faith..
3. You don't have to have a website to use a domain in business. Email could be a legitimate business use. Parking for income may also be a legitimate course of business under the definition given, if not registered "solely" for selling the name..
4. To win under the RDRP provision, you might have to prove they have no legit business use plan, which may be difficult if not just listed for sale.
However, if they try to actively offer it for sale to your client you might have an easier case to make...
The RDRP is a silly process, and is virtually never used, because it does not result in transfer to the complainant.
It is often mentioned in passing in the course of a UDRP as an "extra" reason why the domain name was registered in bad faith.
If the term is a trademark, and not otherwise a dictionary term showing PPC results relevant to the primary meaning, then don't bother with the RDRP, but proceed with a UDRP...
Thanks for all this great information! I'm having my client look into his options now. (I've added rep.).
Now with this information, It looks like one of our first steps is going to be a firm but polite email, probably explaining the improper use of .BIZ, the trademark, and a mention of RDRP/UDRP (even if we don't intend to go through the whole long, expensive process). If they don't respond or the email is returned it looks like we can call them.
Is that a reasonable course of action?..
It really depends on what the domain name is. Without knowing the domain name, as well as the current use it is hard to give an exact opinion.
However, if you feel strong about the claim then I would contact them first either with information about why you feel they are infringing or a C&D.
UDRP's are costly, and the outcome is uncertain. It is normally used as the last option.
You also have to factor in no matter how strong you feel about a case, it doesn't mean the panelist will see it the same way.
Does you client need the .biz name, or just not want the new owner to use it? If they don't need the .biz, then UDRP is an expensive way to get something they don't want. You've already said they haven't "used" the domain, making proof for UDRP of bad faith more difficult. Consider this alternative:.
Send a C&D letter notifying them of the registered TM. Tell them this is a warning that use of the domain in a way that violates the TM owners TM rights will force expensive UDRP or other legal action that they will have to defend against. This puts them on warning, giving you a better standing of knowledge of the TM should they later decide to use it. You could also offer to allow them to transfer it or just allow it to expire. You could also offer a fair cost to take it off their hands such as reimbursing the typical drop registration cost they probably paid with proof of that cost. If they cooperate, you get the name. If they don't, you have a better standing later for action...
Thanks for the input fellas. The domain is three words and definitely not really a common phrase. It has the word "The" in it, so naturally it's the name of my client's company. @bmugford: I don't think I'll state here whether we intend to go through with UDRP or not, but the domain is indeed my client's company name and it may or may not be a very real possibility. It looks like we'll start with some form of a C&D which I'll research some more. Thanks! @AdoptableDomains: My client did use the .biz name as the official website for his company.
UPDATE: It looks like they have moved the domain to a blank index page (one of those "index of /" pages) that right now just has a single cgi-bin folder. So they may plan on using it now.
So from what I gather there is a reasonable way of doing this as such:.
- Send a C&D or similar letter informing them of trademark violation if used, as use of the domain is already evidenced by pointing it to a server. But if the domain just sits there a while (as some others they own seem to be doing, just like this one), then it violates a .BIZ registration regulation anyway. Give them a fair UDRP warning to let them know that is a possible course of action.
- If C&D fails, offer to negotiate a reasonable deal for the domain and/or reimburse them for transfer or dropping fees...
For the record, their contact email is: "dead_mail@[something]" ... that doesn't look too promising. They have a phone number but it's over by France. How can I tell if emails go to a black hole?..