Case Number: FA2010001916204
Complainant: Cooper's Hawk Intermediate Holdings
Represented by: Kevin J. Lahey of Sponsler Koren Hammer & Lahey, P.A.
A regional winery and restaurant holdings company has been found guilty of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking by a panel at the National Arbitration Forum after attempted to grab the generic domain, coopershawk.com, from its current owner. Cooper’s Hawk Intermedia Holdings LLC was found guilty of RDNH on November 17, 2020, after the panel found its arguments not only fell short, but were clearly an attempt to manipulate the arbitration board following failed negotiations to purchase the domain name.
The respondent in the case, Virtual Point, Inc., pointed out that the complainant did not have a viable case for several key reasons, among them is the fact that Cooper’s Hawk is a type of North American bird. Furthermore, while the complainant does have a trademark in a specific class for the term “Cooper’s Hawk”, that trademark was acquired at least two years after the registrant bought the domain name, precluding any bad-faith registration or targeting of the complainant.
The panelists agreed, observing it was clear the complaint was filed after negotiations to acquire the domain had failed.
“Under the totality of circumstances, the panel agrees with the Respondent that this is a case that should not have been filed and was only done so after negotiations for the domain name ended unsuccessfully,” the panel wrote in its decision. “Therefore, in line with other similar cases, the Panel finds reverse domain name hijacking.”
The complainant was represented by Mr. Kevin J. Lahey, who is a partner in the firm of Sponsler Koren Hammer & Lahey, P.A., which has offices in Palm Beach, Tampa, Atlanta and Chicago. Mr. Lahey’s name appears as attorney-of-record for a number of trademark issues for Cooper’s Hawk Intermediate Holdings LLC.
For its part, the winery and restaurant holdings company has a history of filing trademarks for common phrases and terms, including “below the belt” and “esquire”, the latter of which remained before an examining attorney at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office at the time of the writing of this summary.