How to deal with Reverse Domain Name Hijacking


What is Reverse Domain Name Hijacking?

Reverse Domain Name Hijacking primarily arises when domain owners choose names for their domains that are identical or confusing with existing trademarks. Reverse Domain Name Hijacking happens when a person fraudulently looks to acquire a domain name because the name of the domain is similar to his or her existing trademark.

UDRP defines it as the filing of a complaint in bad faith that results in abuse of the administrative process of the UDRP. ‘Bad faith’ is quite a generic and broad terms and is much thought about several times, with a lot of decision making needed for the task of assigning a complaint justly as belonging to the bad faith category or not.

Owners of small domains are particularly vulnerable to reverse domain name hijacking as they are not usually inclined to go the courts for the settlement of the case. They quite often transfer their domains to the accuser when the accuser is someone with a big reputation and intimidates the domain owners. But make no mistake, for even the big shots are found guilty of reverse domain name hijacking on some occasions. Here’s an example:

Domain Administrator vs. Arif Develier

The accuser here was a Turkish who appealed that the name ‘Develi’ was used for a chain of restaurants his grandfather had started a century ago. The respondent claimed ‘Develi’ has a non-trademark sense as it arises from the Turkish city which was established 200+ years ago.

The court agreed with the respondent’s argument and considered the complaint as a case of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking because it believed the complainant must have known his claim was lacked evidence.

The Queen of England made a similar case of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking in 2002 when she said she owned the trademark rights to the name of the country New Zealand. The court, announcing a similar verdict as the Develier case, said that the name holds for a geographical region and can therefore not be used as a trademark.

How to Deal with Reverse Domain Name Hijacking

If you are the rightful owner of a domain, then do not be afraid whenever someone claims assert their right to your domain. Here’s how you deal with them:

Do not get scared and bullied into selling your domain to them. Reverse Domain Name Hijacking is a serious offense. You should appeal to the court for compensation from the false accuser for the legal proceedings you had to involve yourself in to justify your rightful ownership of a domain.

Hire a lawyer who deals with Internet laws as soon as someone accuses you wrongly. Lawyers always help you a lot in the proceedings and get the issue resolved as soon as possible. Representing yourself can turn out to be suicidal.

Ask the court to label the accusation as a case of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking when you gain victory. This would raise the alarm for any big company since news reporters and websites regularly list the names of such organizations under headings like ‘found guilty of reverse domain name hijacking’ which can cause serious damage to their reputation. This also enables you to ask the fraudulent party to compensate you for your troubles.


Reverse Domain Name Hijacking cases are growing at a fast pace. In addition to expenditures in court proceedings, domain owners suffer greatly in their business as they are not allowed to sell their domains during the time the case is running on the court. Therefore, one should always hire an internet lawyer and ask the court to label the accuser as one who practices reverse domain name hijacking. The most important thing is to maintain your stand and not be intimidated.

Passion for Cyber Security and Technology.

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