Archive for the ‘Domaining’ Category

UDRP on – Another Victory!

Hello everyone!

This was the 6th UDRP filed on one of our domains at NAF and was represented by John Berryhill. The last 3 UDRP wins came in the shape of, and

I wanted to thank Mr. John for representing in this case as well as his guidance throughout the case was helpful and encouraging.

This culprit complainant just got saved from getting labelled as Reverse Domain Name Hijacker because only 1 out of 3 panel members considered the complaint was brought in bad faith and constitutes an abuse of the administrative proceeding.

Below is the entire decision from NAF:

Peymon Mottahedeh v. AbdulBasit Makrani

Claim Number: FA2010001918379


Complainant is Peymon Mottahedeh (“Complainant”), represented by Peymon Mottahedeh, Florida, USA.  Respondent is AbdulBasit Makrani (“Respondent”), represented by John Berryhill, Pennsylvania, USA.


The domain name at issue is <>, registered with GoDaddy Online Services Cayman Islands Ltd.


The undersigned certifies that they have acted independently and impartially and to the best of their knowledge have no known conflict in serving as Panelists in this proceeding.

Darryl C. Wilson, David E. Sorkin and Dennis A. Foster (Chair) as Panelists.


Complainant submitted a Complaint to the Forum electronically on October 26, 2020; the Forum received payment on October 26, 2020.

On November 3, 2020, GoDaddy Online Services Cayman Islands Ltd. confirmed by e-mail to the Forum that the <> domain name is registered with GoDaddy Online Services Cayman Islands Ltd., and that Respondent is the current registrant of the name. GoDaddy Online Services Cayman Islands Ltd. has verified that Respondent is bound by the GoDaddy Online Services Cayman Islands Ltd. registration agreement and has thereby agreed to resolve domain disputes brought by third parties in accordance with ICANN’s Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Policy”) and Rules (the “Rules”).

On November 4, 2020, the Forum served the Complaint and all Annexes, including a Written Notice of the Complaint, setting a deadline of November 30, 2020 by which Respondent could file a Response to the Complaint, via e-mail to all entities and persons listed on Respondent’s registration as technical, administrative, and billing contacts, and to  Also on November 4, 2020, the Written Notice of the Complaint, notifying Respondent of the e-mail addresses served and the deadline for a Response, was transmitted to Respondent via post and fax, to all entities and persons listed on Respondent’s registration as technical, administrative and billing contacts.

A timely Response was received and determined to be complete on November 30, 2020.

On December 7, 2020, an Additional Submission from Complainant was received.  The Panel finds that such Additional Submission complies with the Forum’s Supplemental Rule 7 and was considered in the Panel’s decision.  On December 8, 2020, an Additional Submission from Respondent was received.  The Panel finds that that Additional Submission complies with the Forum’s Supplemental Rule 7 and was considered in the Panel’s decision.

On December 8, 2020, pursuant to Respondent’s request to have the dispute decided by a three-member Panel, the Forum appointed Darryl C. Wilson, David E. Sorkin and Dennis A. Foster (Chair) as Panelists.

Having reviewed the communications records, the Administrative Panel (the “Panel”) finds that the Forum has discharged its responsibility under Paragraph 2(a) of the Rules “to employ reasonably available means calculated to achieve actual notice to Respondent” through submission of Electronic and Written Notices, as defined in Rule 1 and Rule 2.


Complainant requests that the domain name be transferred from Respondent to Complainant.


A. Complainant

– Complainant is a speaker and founder of “Freedom Church,” which was formed to “communicate with and inform members and other interested truth seekers, and to help new members join the church.”

– Complainant has used the FREEDOM CHURCH service mark in rendering services since 1997.  Complainant registered that mark with the state of Florida.

– Complainant also registered and used the disputed domain name, <>, since 1997.  Complainant mistakenly allowed his registration of that name to expire in 2020.  Respondent then registered the name.

– The disputeddomain name is identical to Complainant’s mark as it incorporates the mark in its entirety and merely adds the “.org” generic top-level domain.

– The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. Respondent is not using the disputed domain name to organize a church for the purposes of freedom.  Respondent does not use the disputeddomain name for any bona fide offering of goods or services, nor any legitimate noncommercial or fair use.

– Respondent registered and uses the disputeddomain name in bad faith.  Respondent offers the disputed domain name for sale at a much higher price than that for which it was purchased.  Respondent registered the disputed domain name in opportunistic bad faith after Complainant accidentally allowed its registration of the name to expire.

B. Respondent

– Respondent is a buyer and reseller of generic domain names, a legitimate business.

– Complainant fails to demonstrate rights in the FREEDOM CHURCH service mark. Complainant’s registration of that mark in the state of Florida took place after Respondent lawfully bought the disputed domain name.  Furthermore, registration with a state authority does not establish rights in a mark.

– Complainant has failed to demonstrate common law rights in the FREEDOM CHURCH service mark.  Many other entities throughout the United States make use of that and very similar marks.  None, including Complainant, can claim a secondary meaning with respect to said mark.

– Further investigation reveals the extent to which any “Freedom Church” run by Complainant is a thinly veiled criminal conspiracy to promote tax evasion and outlandish theories.

– Respondent’s purchase and general offer to resell the disputeddomain name is a bona fide offering of goods or services, as Respondent is a reseller of generic domain names. The disputed domain name is comprised of generic terms to which Complainant does not have a monopoly.  Additionally, the registration with the Florida authority explicitly notes that the terms of Complainant’s claimed mark are generic

– Respondent did not register and does not use the disputed domain name in bad faith.  Respondent’s business as a reseller of generic domain names is not a bad faith use.  There is no way Respondent could have known of Complainant at all, given the generic nature of the terms in the disputed domain name, and Complainant did not register his claimed service mark with Florida until after Respondent purchased the disputed domain name.

C. Complainant’s Additional Submission

– Complainant does not dispute the general legitimacy of Respondent’s business model, which is to profit handsomely from buying and selling recently expired domain name registrations that consist of generic terms.

– Complainant’s Florida registration for the FREEDOM CHURCH service mark should be deemed evidence of Complainant’s valid ownership of the mark.  Respondent has misconstrued UDRP cases that question service mark registrations issued by individual states.  In any case, Complainant has valid common law rights in its service mark, due to continuous use since 1996 and the lack of challenge of those rights by any other church that incorporates that mark in its name.

– Respondent is not commonly known as the disputed domain name, as well as neither using the name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services nor using it for legitimate noncommercial or fair use purposes.

– Respondent’s offer to sell the disputed domain name to Complainant, or its competitors, for nearly US$30,000 is evidence of Respondent’s bad faith conduct.

D. Respondent’s Additional Submission

– Complainant has misinterpreted prior UDRP cases that involve mere state service mark registrations.  Those cases do not confirm those registrations as conclusive evidence of service mark ownership for Policy ¶ 4(a)(i) purposes.

– Complainant has not shown the distinctiveness and secondary meaning necessary to achieve common law rights in the FREEDOM CHURCH service mark.  Simply possessing an unchanged web page at the disputed domain name for a number of years is insufficient evidence.  Complainant offers no hard evidence of advertising expenditures, customer volume or public recognition regarding its use of the mark.  Moreover, Complainant acknowledges that use of the mark, or variations thereof, is neither exclusive to nor distinctive of Complainant.

– Respondent’s offer to sell the disputed domain name is not evidence of bad faith, but instead falls within Respondent’s good faith business actions.


Complainant is a speaker and founder of the Freedom Church, through which he has rendered spiritual and taxation-related advice since 1996.  In furtherance of his efforts, Complainant registered the disputed domain name, <>, on Feb. 28, 1997, but allowed that registration to lapse as of Feb. 28, 2020.  He registered the FREEDOM CHURCH service mark with the state of Florida on Oct. 16, 2020 (Reg. No. T20000001168).

Respondent is the current owner of the disputed domain name, which he acquired on March 1, 2020.  Respondent is currently offering the disputed domain name for sale at a price of approximately US$30,000.


Paragraph 15(a) of the Rules instructs this Panel to “decide a complaint on the basis of the statements and documents submitted in accordance with the Policy, these Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable.”

Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy requires that Complainant must prove each of the following three elements to obtain an order that a domain name should be cancelled or transferred:

(1)  The domain name registered by Respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights; and

(2)  Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and

(3)  The domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

Identical and/or Confusingly Similar

As Complainant had owned and rendered services under the disputed domain name, <>, for 23 years prior to Respondent’s registration of that name, the Panel can see clearly that the name is identical to the Complainant’s claimed FREEDOM CHURCH service mark.

However, under Policy ¶ 4(a)(i), Complainant must also establish that he owns rights to a FREEDOM CHURCH service mark.  To that end, Complainant has submitted a mark registration document issued by the state of Florida.  But, because such registrations are not subjected to the rigorous examinations required under the United States Patent and Trademark Office, or other national or regional trademark authorities throughout the world, prior Policy panels have not generally recognized state issued mark registrations as probative of mark ownership. The Panel agrees with that reasoning and determines that Complainant’s Florida registration is insufficient to sustain Complainant’s claim to rights in a FREEDOM CHURCH service mark. See WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition, (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), section 1.2.2 (“When considering UDRP standing, panels tend to carefully review certain types of automatic/unexamined registered trademarks such as US state registrations (as opposed to US federal registrations); these are not accorded the same deference and may not on their own satisfy the UDRP’s “rights in a mark” standing test.”); see also Elan, LLC v. Al Perkins, FA 1731999 (Forum June 26, 2017) (“…registration of a trade name with a State is insufficient to establish trademark rights.”); see also PK Information Systems v. Kevin Kurpe, FA 1835258 (Forum May 13, 2019) (“As numerous Panels have held, a state trademark registration is not itself sufficient proof of “rights in a trademark” for purposes of the UDRP because state trademark applications typically are not examined on absolute grounds.  In particular […] the Florida Department of State […] will typically issue the registration as long as there are no identical registrations on the State registry.”).

Failing to sustain a finding of service mark rights by virtue of sufficient registration, Complainant might successfully assert that he possesses common law rights in the FREEDOM CHURCH service mark.  However, to do so, Complainant would have to provide the Panel with evidence that the mark has become a distinctive identifier of his services, so that the mark takes on a “secondary meaning” relative to Complainant.  Beyond the duration and nature of use regarding the service mark, other pertinent evidence supplied by Complainant might convincingly address: volume of sales; spending on and extent of advertising; actual public recognition; and perhaps consumer surveys.  See WIPO Overview 3.0, section 1.3.

With respect to the burden placed on Complainant to establish common law rights in the FREEDOM CHURCH service mark, the Panel finds that the Complaint and Complainant’s Additional Submission furnish scant evidence on which to base those rights.  The Panel notes relatively long use, 23 years, in the form of Complainant’s continuous registration of the disputed domain name, but little else.  Complainant has provided only a simple display of a webpage attached to the name, without mention of connected revenues, advertising expenditure, consumer or media recognition or any kind of published surveys.  In analyzing this lack of evidence, the Panel also recognizes that, because the claimed service mark is composed of two generic terms, “freedom” and “church,” said complementary evidence is all the more important.  See WIPO Overview 3.0, section 1.3 (“In cases involving unregistered or common law marks that are comprised solely of descriptive terms which are not inherently distinctive, there is a greater onus on the complainant to present evidence of acquired distinctiveness/secondary meaning.”).

Therefore, given the generic nature of the claimed FREEDOM CHURCH mark, the Panel must determine that Complainant’s submission of evidence, which only confirms the duration of its use within a domain name connected to a simple webpage, is insufficient to sustain a finding of common law rights in that mark. See Thermo Holdings, LLC v. Park KyeongSook, FA 1608001690428 (Forum Sept. 25, 2016) (finding that evidence of a date of first use of a mark is insufficient to establish rights therein).

Accordingly, the Panel finds that Complainant has not satisfied the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.

Rights or Legitimate Interests and Registration and Use in Bad Faith

As Complainant has failed with respect to the first element required under the Policy, the Panel need not consider the second and third elements a Complainant must prove under the Policy.

Reverse Domain Name Hijacking

The Respondent has asked that the Panel find that the Complainant has engaged in Reverse Domain Name Hijacking because the Respondent should have known that he had no trademark rights in the disputed domain name <>. However, the Panel majority finds that since the Complainant owned the disputed domain from 1997 until 2020, it was by no means obvious that the Complainant would not have been able to create trademark rights in the domain name during that lengthy time period.  In addition, as the Complainant lost the domain name through inadvertent nonpayment, it is not unreasonable, in bad faith or for harassment (per Rule 15e) if the Complainant attempts to regain ownership of the domain name through a UDRP proceeding.

Panelist Sorkin would find that the Complaint was brought in bad faith, in an attempt at Reverse Domain Name Hijacking, and constitutes an abuse of the administrative proceeding. Complainant knew or should have known that he could not demonstrate the requisite trademark rights, his prior ownership of the corresponding domain name notwithstanding. While Complainant is self-represented in this proceeding, he is an experienced pro se litigant and the president of an unaccredited law school, and he holds himself out as an expert on tax law and ethical matters. His pro se state trademark application was filed in October 2020, apparently in preparation for this proceeding, and it does not appear that Complainant ever asserted any trademark rights whatsoever prior to Respondent’s acquisition of the disputed domain name.


Having not established all three elements required under the ICANN Policy, the Panel concludes that relief shall be DENIED.

Accordingly, it is Ordered that the <> domain name REMAIN WITH Respondent.

Darryl C. Wilson, Panelist

David E. Sorkin, Panelist

Dennis A. Foster, ChairDated:  December 21, 2020

I wanted to convey a message to all people around the world, I will try my best to defend my properties and won’t let them go easily. Anyone planning to file a complaint against any of my domain in future, just remember that it’s not really easy to snatch any of my domain. Better to buy the domain in a proper manner through proper channels, else get ready for the hard consequences.

Any feedback is welcome.

Beware of this new scam trick

Hi everyone,

I wanted to make you all aware of this new scam trick. I believe some have received similar emails as well but still I wanted to share it for everyone else who’s not known to it.

Today morning I received an email with the following details:

Subject: Domain Inquiry

Email address:


I am inquiring about your domain name

We are interested in purchasing the domain name for a new project. Our offer is $550,000.

Please let us know if you are willing to sell the aforementioned domain name to our company for the above price.
We await your reply at your earliest convenience.

Brian Holloway
Head of the Deep Science Fund
Intellectual Ventures

If you carefully look at the email address which actually has the letter L and not letter I for Intellectual keyword. This is a clear disguise way to lure into the trap of buying appraisal certificates.

Another thing is that the domain is listed for sale at $29,888 whereas the initial offer came in at $550,000. That’s clear cut stupidity by offering so high. Even to cheat others, one has to use their brains and in this case the only thing intelligently used was the domain name.

For anyone who doesn’t usually get too excited at first by looking at such high starting offers, they cannot be easily trapped.

Also to note, the person and company name used above (Brian Holloway and intellectualventures) is real and can be checked at the above link mentioned in the message AND have no connection with this scam. The scumbag at Lntellectualventures intentionally used their information to disguise domain owners.

Feel free to share this with your fellow friends so they can be made aware of this scam and you better be careful as well.

How do you see it from your viewpoint?

Hi everyone,

Today I received an email which I wanted to share with everyone. Usually I don’t share any emails on my blog but this is an interesting one.

Email ID:

Subject: why did you do that?

Message: Hello Abdubasit

My name is Daniel. I am a domainer and I have a question to ask you!

About 2 years ago, you shared some very important informations on you
blog/website that had a catastrophic impact on the life of all

You said you wanted to help all the fellow domaines, but all you did was
making life difficult for us!

You shared the secret of how you buy domains and how you use

I have followed all the auction houses and since that day ( it is
amazing how it started precisely after that post ) the prices of domains
began to climb slowly up!

You turned on the light but for the wrong guys ( not for the domaines ).

Ever since that day, all the rich guys with deep pockets and all the
speculators with tick wallets began to understand how they should pick
op domains from auctions.

As a result of that, today a domains that use to cost 300/400$ In
dropcatch or SnapNames, is now sold for 2000/3000$ !! All that thanks to
you sharing the secrets of domain picking!

sharing that sensitive knowledge only helped the rich guys to vacuum
clean all the valuable domains from the auctions. so it was a huge help
to the Chinese domain investors with limitless amount of capital to
invest in domains and a knife in the hearth of people like me and
yourself who cant afford to pay several thousands for a domain.

So you some how punished yourself (and the other poor fellow domaines)
in favour of the rich Chinese/american domain speculators.

If you wasn’t lucky to sell that fucking for 375000$, today
you would be buying and selling domains for 200/500$! Allah helped you
to get success and as thanks, you fucked all the small domaines!

Now I have a question: why did you do that? was it to help domaines or
was it because you wanted to make yourself a name in the domaining

You maybe a good domainer but you do not know any thing about the rules
of business.

Daniel Sommer

I was caught in a surprise to read it because of several reasons. First, I didn’t know my blog is getting such a huge traffic that it can change the domain prices in the aftermarket. Secondly, just because I shared a great service DotDB, I don’t believe things can massively change as far as the prices are concerned because any sensible domain investor would use several factors in deciding which domain to buy, what maximum bid to give, whether to buy or not, etc. and not only rely on one factor in their decision.

Just recently I published a post about NameJet where I’ve suggested others never use it and given the solid reason behind that. As said in that post, I believe some people won’t like me sharing such things openly and there may be more people like Daniel who will not like this post as well.

But… I’ll keep sharing what I want to, as far as I think it’s helpful to others.

Anyone is free to get jealous, angry or be happy. Neither I can please everyone nor I plan to do so. I’ll just continue sharing whatever I think is useful for others on a larger scale.

How do you see it from your viewpoint? Feel free to post your comments 🙂

Why you should NEVER use NameJet

Hi everyone,

I believe some regular bidders won’t like sharing it publicly but I don’t care for such mentality of people and I just love to share what I think is beneficial to others.

I don’t think this has been shared anywhere else but here you go…

Since NameJet and SnapNames have merged together for auctioning off domains, I see people still bidding at NameJet which doesn’t make sense. Let me tell you the secret…

When you place a backorder at NameJet, you pay 2.5% top of your original winning amount. Whereas if you win the same domain at SnapNames, you’ll pay only the final winning amount.

Also there is another reason for not placing backorder at NameJet and it’s the number of bidders are shown so anyone can sort by number of bidders to see what are the top most bid domains so they can easily enter in those which will ultimately create more competition.

So if someone doesn’t like this tip to be shared publicly, you’ve to think the other way around. Why to show a number of bidders and create more competition when you can place the same domain backorder and participate in an auction at SnapNames without showing any number of bidders? On top of that you’ll save 2.5% of your winning amount.

Feel free to give your feedback no matter how good or good it is 😉

Afternic experiment of August 2020

Hi everyone,

When I first started sharing the January experience, I wasn’t expecting to continue sharing for this long but with the feedback I’ve received until last month has been exceptional. The main purpose of sharing my Afternic experience was for others to judge and decide for themselves whether to try their service the way I do or not. I know many of you have opted for Afternic ns3/ns4 along with BIN and found it more productive and few not as well.

Overall, I’m happy with my own results and others as well who were able to increase their sales which is what we need. SALES.

This is the 8th post of the Afternic experiment series after I published JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJune and July results which I believe you’ll like it.

So July was the slowest month for me but August really covered everything and I’m very happy with that. Even though I’d no complaint that month as well but was slightly disappointed.

So coming back to the sales of August are as below:

The first sale happened on 12th of August (once again started late) in the shape of for $3,500. I’d kept this for $3,988 BIN but after going back and forth, the Afternic broker was able to get $3,500. The buyer came in via GoDaddy.

Second sale happened on the very next day of for $13,500. I remember having $15,888 BIN. The buyer came in with a $9,000 initial offer and $12,500 as final offer. The interesting and best thing about Afternic brokers is that you can easily trust them and they’ll give you the best in return. I actually said of accepting a $12.5K offer but requested to try once again and see if the buyer comes up… And fortunately he raised to $13,500. This is not something new for me as I’ve seen multiple times for myself and my fellow domain investors where the Afternic brokers have helped them get more than what the seller has accepted to sell it for.

Then again the very next day I’d another sale but this time the buyer hit BIN and acquired it. The domain was which sold for $1,988.

And the best sale of the last month happened on 20th of August in the shape of BIN which was for $25,888. It’s a great feeling to have BIN sales happening at such price range. I’d this domain for many years and declined several offers including the highest of $5,000 when I used Uniregistry landers.

And then there was a sale of $5,000 which unfortunately I cannot share due to TM reason. I admit of acquiring the wrong domain but totally unintentionally so when the initial offer came in of $2,500, I requested to try and see if we can get anything above that mark or else accept this offer. So once again the Afternic broker did their job what they’re best at and got the buyer to $5,000. Apologies for not sharing the domain.

And the last sale of the month via Afternic was for $2,988 where the buyer hit BIN and purchased it.

All the domains were sold via GoDaddy except the sale which happened via Afternic lander. Surprisingly no sale came via partner registrars. This shows the power of GoDaddy which is enough to make a good amount of sales for anyone holding good quality and quantity of domains.

The number of inquiries for the August was close to 550 and total number of domains at the end of last month were 4,170+/-

Total cost of acquisition was under $4,000 and total amount of sales was $52,864.

On the other hand, my friend Muhammad Aamir from DotCorner was happy to share once again his August sales via Afternic which I’ve copied below: for $1,800 (Registerd $7.45 on 29th Jan, 2008). for $1,600 (Purchased for $10 back in March 2020). for $7,850 (12+ years old name – hand reg).

He also sold for $8,855 privately which is another fantastic sale IMO. And the last sale was for $2500 (registered for $5.99 on August 26, 2020 and Sold on August 28th DAN).

Aamir is a well experienced domain investor and he knows the ins and outs of this business so please don’t go on buying spree just because he sold which was hand registered last month itself. He hand registered around 500 domains in a small period of time and from that this particular domain sale happened. It’s all about the quality, quantity, experience, timing, etc which matters in this business.

One fellow investor @Yusupbabay, the owner of shared one sale he made last month for a whopping $25,000. He acquired it for $59 and paid for 2 years of renewals. The reason behind this particular acquisition was that “I bought this domain because it was sold:
INDUSTRIALHEART.COM last sold for $ 22,500 on 2015-07-12 at DomainMarket”.

Honestly speaking, I would’ve never sold for that price, let alone asking that price. I just don’t get this domain but a sale is a sale and I’m happy for the seller. Congrats and thanks for sharing!

And I’ve a couple of answers to share which my Afternic manager was happy to share with me:

Q1) Does price reduction send any kind of alert to the past inquirer for that particular domain?

A1) We have measures in place within our automated email system to keep buyers engaged after expressing interest in a domain, but we do not automatically send emails to past inquirers when a domain’s price is reduced. This is an interesting idea, I will send it along to the team to review. As of right now if a seller is significantly discounting a sought after domain, they can reach out to our Partner Seller department at We will be happy to review past inquiries on the domain and have the brokers reach out to drum up interest.

Q2) Also adding categories for domains make any increase in sales?

A2) Adding categories to listings does not have a measurable significance to sales velocity. The category information is not pushed out to our partner network. This feature can be used by our sellers to help keep track of their different verticals and can be seen on, but not across the network where the domains are distributed.

I believe this will clear out many of the investor’s doubts who were looking out for this and I’m very happy to see the detailed answers.

Thank you Afternic, my relationship manager, the brokerage team and everyone involved in making the overall experience so wonderful.

Feel free to give your feedback no matter how good or good it is 😉