A UDRP complaint was filed at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) for Rick Schwartz’s domain name Queen.com.
The complaint was filed by a company named Knud Jepsen A/S from Denmark. The flower company is using the domain name queen.dk for their website.
The WIPO case D2017-0679 has a “Compliance Review Pending” status at the moment.
Rick Schwartz said that the complainant from Denmark never contacted him in the almost 20 years that he owns Queen.com. Queen.com is certainly a fitting name for the “Domain King”, Rick Schwartz’s nickname.
The Danish company owns a European figurative trademark for “Queen” that was registered in 2001 and an EU word trademark for “Queen” since 2010. The company also has a registered trademark in the US since 2015. The mark consists of the word “Queen” in stylized form.
As you can imagine Rick is very upset and said that he will destroy the company’s reputation for attempting to steal his domain name: “Lots of reputations to be destroyed in Denmark.”
This case is a straight up Reverse Domain Name Hijacking attempt as the company had not even thought of registering a trademark in 1997 when Rick Schwartz bought this name. And Rick didn’t even know such a company ever existed in Denmark.
Rick said on Twitter that “It just could be a high profile domain like http://Queen.com that brings Int’l attention to Reverse Domain Name Hijacking.”
It is clear and evident to me that the company will not be able to prove bad faith registration back in 1997 so the complaint will be denied. This is another case of an ignorant company with bad lawyers attempting to steal a domain name from its rightful owner using a cheap and easy UDRP complaint.
Rick said: “Interfering with my business AND trying to steal from me is not good for one’s reputation. No, I was never contacted by them.”. “This is nothing more than an ATTEMPTED STRONG ARM ROBBERY of a Multi-Million Dollar Domain Name.”
The domain name is currently redirecting to adult content. Rick said about this that “I may not be a sympathetic figure with adult content. But THEFT is THEFT regardless of the form.”.
Rick bought Queen.com in 1997 from Scott Day for $2500 and that was before he bought porno.com. The domain name has gone to adult sites for better part of the past 19+ years.
This is Rick Schwartz’s plan from now on: “I’m going to respond, win, ask for VERY STRONG RDNH language showing MONUMENTAL abuse. Then go for damages in court. Perfect case of abuse.”
To share his story Rick Schwartz registered 2 domains today: frandsjepsen.com and frandsjepsensucks.com. Frands Jepsen is the name of the managing director of the Danish company.
Regardless of when the company filed a trademark for the term “queen,” and when the domain was registered or renewed, this is clearly a generic term and as such the company hs no right to ownership over all others and no right to try to steal it from anyone’s possesion. This kind of crap (udrp abuse) needs to be stopped and abusers punished for their attempts to seize other’s assets.
Sadly, they have a good shot at getting it especially if the right circumstances prevail @ corrupt WIPO and they have a good attorney.
Literally all they would have to do is payoff the WIPO judges!
Just look at what happened to Telepathy who had the domain name Crew.com stolen from them by J.Crew!
Anything can happen! And in the end, as you know, the QUEEN always wins, not the KING!
Even queen in England doesn’t own the “Queen” word.
Just another queenfreebies?
I don’t blamed Rick to be upset on this one. This is total super low.
how much does it cost for the average domainer to fend off a domain name hijacker?
I would say minimum is about $4k-$5k. Including paying for a 3-member panel.
The Domain Owners Association should take some strong action against ICANN to prevent this kind of awful stealing efforts.
Ultra rich scoundrels also use other methods to steal domains, aside from the trademark scam. One is to file costly lawsuits in Superior Court that put a huge financial burden on an average Joe to defend. This has happened to me, and when a billionaire or billion dollar company does that, believe me you are hard pressed to come up with the tens of thousands of dollars to defend yourself. And by the way, in my case they did NOT have ANY trademark at all, just the “I have money and I want” mentality. I hope Rick cleans their clock, he has the money to defend himself.
What was your domain? Did you win?