Twitter, Inc filed a UDRP dispute with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) for the domain name twitter.org. The domain was registered in October 2005 and Twitter didn’t even exist as an idea at that date. I don’t how Twitter is going to prove bad faith registration on a domain that was registered months before Jack Dorsey created Twitter in March 2006 and launched it that July. The domain had been under the same registrant since registration and up until May 2011. Then the domain went behind privacy. There is only one registrant change and that happened after May 2011. In July 2011 the domain appears to have a different registrar but it’s not certain that the domain changed hands. Unless Twitter can prove that the domain has changed ownership, it is going to lose this dispute and this is why:
The “twitter” trademark that is registered at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has “first use” and “first use in commerce” dates set as the 31st of August 2006. That is almost a year after the domain name twitter.org was registered.
So the UDRP complaint must fail on the 3rd element of the UDRP because there is no way that Twitter can prove bad faith registration on this domain name. Any other decision will make a mockery out of the UDRP procedures.
The domain name twitter.org was redirecting to a survey website but it is currently inactive. But this could only prove bad faith usage. The domain name is registered with Moniker and is currently behind privacy.
Mid-2006, when Twitter was born, the domain name Twitter.com was bought for $7,500 from the previous owner that had registered it in 2000. Twitter owns the domains twitter.biz and twitter.us but doesn’t own twitter.net and twitter.info.
Twitter, Inc has only filed 6 UDRP complaints before this one. It won 4 complaints (including one for the domain name twitter.ch) and 2 other complaints were terminated.
Did the domain really changed registrars and gave Twitter the upper hand in the dispute? We won’t find out until the decision is in…