Oil company Tupras is a reverse domain name hijacker


Company went after domain name Hexmon.com, which is owned by a fan of hex-based wargames.

Do you watch TV or listen to the radio? If so, have you heard commercials for Tupras or Hexmon?

My guess is you haven’t, especially if you live outside of Turkey. But Tupras Turkiye Petrol Rafinerileri A.S. made the claim in a recent UDRP that “it has advertisements all over the world, from subways to advertisement spaces on the side of the roads, streets and buildings, and that its thousands of commercials appear on almost all TVs and radios every day.”

The company made the claim in a UDRP for Hexmon.com. The domain name was registered by a guy who is a fan of hex-based wargames. He adopted the name Hexmon as a handle on twitter in 2009 and registered the domain name before the complainant ever started using the name “hexmon” for one of its products.

The domain name owner represented himself in the UDRP and did not request a finding of reverse domain name hijacking. But panelist Ian Lowe did his job, noting that it is appropriate for a UDRP panel to consider RDNH on its own volition. Low wrote:

There was no doubt in this case that the Domain Name was registered more than two years before the Complainant registered its Turkey trademark. The Complainant made the bald assertion that it had prior rights in the trademark that preceded the registration of the Domain Name, yet it produced no evidence whatsoever that this was the case and the factual background as to the Complainant’s application for a patent in respect of an invention for which it may have used the trademark strongly suggested that any such use must have been long after the Domain Name was registered.

The Complainant made no allegations of bad faith use of the Domain Name beyond its passive holding by the Respondent. Even after the details of the underlying registrant were disclosed to the Complainant, it does not appear to have made any enquiries as to what rights or legitimate interests the Respondent may have had in respect of the Domain Name. Although scarcely relevant, as stated above, the Panel found the Complainant’s assertion that advertisements for its products or services under the HEXMON mark appeared on almost all TVs or radios every day to be grossly exaggerated.

In the circumstances, the Panel considers that the Complainant must have known that its allegations of bad faith were unfounded and that on proper consideration its Complaint was bound to fail. For these reasons, the Panel finds that there was RDNH in this case.

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