Investing in domains versus cybersquatting is a different thing. It is unfortunate that the former are often lumped in with the latter and given a bad reputation.
Meta Platforms recently filed a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization over domain names targeting Facebook and Instagram. Investors may be adversely affected by the cybersquatter’s arguments.
As part of the complaint, Meta Platforms named John Corona and Patriots Act LLC as defendants, who had previously squatted on Lego domain names.
It is obvious that 27 domain names at issue are being used as cybersquatting sites, including facebookmetabitcoin(.)com and fac3book(.)net.
A cease and desist letter was sent to Corona by Meta Platforms. In response to Meta, Corona said he would sell the domains, but not at a low price.
Corona responded, “If you want to buy any of the domain names, the price is calculated automatically based on Godaddy’s IP domain worth algorithm.
It’s pretty clear that this is cybersquatting. A couple of Corona’s domains were justified in a way that hurt domain investors in the long run.
A decision by the court stated that “the disputed domain names incorporating terms such as “bitcoin”, “bank”, and “america” refer to respondent’s alleged rights in “bitcoin bank America”; and that “the website called ‘fa3ebook’ is literally ‘FA 3 EBOOK.
This didn’t sit well with the panelists. Panelists are forced to question all justifications for domain registrations, even when they are genuine, because of spurious arguments like these. If a UDRP filing is brought against a domain investor and the investor has a legitimate reason for registering the domain, it hurts them. In the past, panelists may have responded by questioning all explanations if they were subjected to questionable explanations.