Case Number: D2018-0118
Complainant: Cricket South Africa
Represented by: Mota Attorneys
Cricket South Africa, of Johannesburg, South Africa, has been found guilty of attempted Reverse Domain Name Hijacking for its effort to use the UDRP process to acquire the domain t20globalleague.com, which is registered to Sean Stevens of TMT Investment Pte Limited, of Singapore. Cricket South Africa was represented by Mota Attorneys, while TMT was represented by Hrishikesh Baruah.
Cricket South Africa had asserted the respondent had no rights to acquire the domain name, and that Cricket South Africa held trademarks that were identical to trademarks it claimed to hold, which used the terms “T20 GL” and “T20 Global League.” However, the respondent, informed the panel TMT had acquired the domain on behalf of the complainant, and that complainant, Cricket South Africa, had failed to pay TMT for the acquisition done on Cricket South Africa’s behalf.
Because of considerable confusion caused by the transactional elements of the case, the sole panelist of the World Intellectual Property Organization, Tony Willoughby, requested Cricket South Africa provide supplemental filings to justify its position. In one such filing, it appeared to acknowledge that a third party vendor, Ortus Sport, had requested TMT acquire the disputed domain; however, in its supplemental filing, Cricket South Africa stated Ortus had no authorization to make such a request of TMT.
TMT, for its part, filed its own supplements, including unsolicited filings to WIPO, demonstrating it had acquired the domain as part of an arrangement between all three parties, and that all parties were aware of the domain acquisition, which was happening on the secondary market. In fact, TMT filings show, according to the WIPO report, that it was instructed by Ortus Sport to acquire the domain on behalf of Cricket South Africa.
In the end, the WIPO panel took Cricket South Africa to task, calling its behavior in attempting to acquire the disputed domain “lamentable”. The RDNH ruling was handed up March 27, 2018.