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08|05|2009 05:30 am EDT

Li Ka Shing – World’s 16th Richest Man – Linked to Reverse Domain Name Hijacking

by Chad Kettner in Categories: Legal Issues

Li Ka Shing, the 16th richest man in the world with $16.2 billion, has been linked to an unusual case of reverse domain name hijacking.

Cheung Kong (Holdings) Limited and Cheung Kong Property Development Limited of Hong Kong (the “Complainant”), two companies owned by Li Ka Shing, were found guilty in a WIPO domain name dispute for Attempted Reverse Domain Name Hijacking over the international domain name (IDN) ??.com – which is owned and operated by Netego DotCom of Edmonton (the “Respondent”), who was represented by the Muscovitch Law Firm.

The details within this decision, however, is what makes this case particularly unique.

In July 2008, the Complainant filed an initial complaint against the respondent over ??.com, claiming that it is identical or confusingly similar to its trademarked name since “??” translates to “Cheung Kong” in traditional Chinese (as seen on Wikipedia). While the panel agreed that the domain name was identical or confusingly similar and that the Respondent had no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, they also ruled that the Complainant failed to prove that the Respondent acted in bad faith since “??” also translates to “Yangtze River” in traditional Chinese (also demonstrated on Wikipedia).

“The fact is that the Yangtze River was around long before Li Ka Shing’s corporate name,” explained Zak Muscovitch of the Muscovitch Law Firm in a recent news release. “In fact he selected his corporate name after the river, not the other way around. Accordingly, anyone in the world, including my client, has the right to register this domain name.”

Not satisfied with the ruling, the complainant felt the need to file for another complaint on April 24, 2009, alleging once again that the respondent was guilty on infringing on its trademarked name – and that it was acting in bad faith since the domain name had never been put to legitimate use since being registered in 2000. However, it also attempted to hide the fact that this was a re-filed complaint.

Bad move, according to the official panelist decision:

“The Panel is not unsympathetic to the Complainants’ concerns on the merits … However, even if reasonable panelists could differ, the fact is that a panel already decided this issue. If Complainants did not like the result, they had the right to pursue a claim through national courts … they did not on the provided evidence have the right to file a re-filed Complaint.

What is particularly troubling here is that Complainants never even notified the Panel that this was a re-filed Complaint.The fact that the submitted Complaint nowhere refers to the previous UDRP proceeding, suggests to the Panel that Complainants may have deliberately attempted to hide that fact from the Panel. Not only does that constitute an abuse of the UDRP process, but also, it caused substantial delay and increased cost to both parties…

…For these reasons, the Panel finds that Complainants’ actions constitute an abuse of the UDRP process. The Panel thus enters a finding of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking”

The decision adds to a long list of successful domain name cases handled by The Muscovitch Law Firm from Toronto, Canada. The firm was recently featured on DNN.com for winning a .CA domain name dispute in the first ever case of reverse domain name hijacking by the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA).

[via DNAttorney.com]

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5 Comments

D

August 5, 2009 @ 8:57 am EDT

It actually translatse to “long river” (Chang Jiang) which is second (and more popular) name for the river

JoshP

August 6, 2009 @ 12:25 pm EDT

Congrats Zak, youre the best!

Canl? Lig Tv Izle

August 8, 2009 @ 10:36 am EDT

He stated he used simple words of normal length. If the registrars were doing selective front-running, they probably had strict criteria of the domains they would pre-register.

[…] Was also put on DNnews too on the 5th. Li Ka Shing – World

Michael

August 10, 2009 @ 9:17 am EDT

Hey Zak, I was searching for your contact info to get you to win another domain back for me and came across this case – well done. Mine should be a piece of cake for ya. Talk soon.

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