Case Number: NAF 2036243
Complainant: Rocket Lab USA
Represented by: Ronald H. Spuhler of McAndrews Held & Malloy Ltd.
An American manufacturer of components for various spacecraft has been found guilty of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking for trying to steal the domain RocketLab.com from its current owner, who has held the domain since it was first registered in 2000. A three-member panel of the National Arbitration Forum handed up the ruling against Rocket Lab USA, originally founded in New Zealand, and which now operates in the U.S. Rocket Lab USA is a publicly-held company, trading on the NASDAQ exchange, under the ticker symbol RKLB.
Rocket Lab USA had attempted to gain the transfer of rocketlab.com from RocketLab, Inc., another American company, but one which primarily focuses on asset management and capital markets. While originally founded in the United States, RocketLab, Inc.’s primary offices are now in Hong Kong. Rocket Lab USA included a series of trademark registrations to demonstrate its rights in the domain, but none of those trademarks was issued prior to the domain’s registration date. In fact, the domain registration precedes any trademark registration by over 18 years.
The NAF panel handed up its RDNH ruling against Rocket Lab USA on June 5, 2023.