Case Number: D2022-3797
Complainant: Erase Technologies, LLC
Represented by: Gibney, Anthony & Flaherty, LLP
In what can easily be dubbed an ironic ruling, Erase Technologies, LLC, which runs the online reputation management website guaranteedremovals.com, has been found guilty of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking for trying to transfer the domain guaranteedremoval.com from its owner. The Miami, Florida-based company, which is owned by a Delaware parent corporation, was handed the RDNH ruling by a three-member panel of the World Intellectual Property Organization on January 5, 2023.
The company had tried to invoke what has become a classic argument among complainants: Pending trademark applications at the United States Patent and Trademark Office, as well as several years of business operations, accruing common-law rights in the mark “Guaranteed Removals”, gave it rights to a domain name that preceded the company’s existence. The domain was registered in 2013, but the complainant company was not doing business until 2014. The Florida foreign-corporation registration, for Erase Technologies, was not made until 2020, according to Sunbiz.org.
The panel members rejected the arguments, and cited misleading statements by the complainant, as well as the obvious problem overcoming the well-settled legal precept of first-in-time, first-in-right, bent the ruling to a status of RDNH.