Case Number: D2022-5016
Complainant: Dewberry Engineering, Inc.
Represented by: McCandlish Lillard, P.C.
Virginia-based Dewberry Engineers, Inc., which has been in business since 1927, has been found guilty of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking for trying to steal the domain jkdewberry.com from its owner, John K. Dewberry, who owns Dewberry IT. The ruling was handed up by a sole panelist of the World Intellectual Property Organization on March 13, 2023.
While the engineering firm did have trademarks that predated Mr. Dewberry’s trademarks, the sole panelist in the case, Ingrīda Kariņa-Bērziņa, noted Dewberry Engineering neglected to include the fact the domain owner’s own name comprised the disputed domain name. In its initial filing, Dewberry Engineering stated the domain owner was unknown because the contact information was privacy protected.
“The Panel notes that the record contradicts Complainant’s professed ignorance,” Kariņa-Bērziņa wrote. “[I]n a discovery request in the course of civil proceedings that predated this proceeding, Complainant had requested information on Respondent’s use of “jkdewberry,” a term identical with the disputed domain name.”