Small Business Legal News: WIPO Decision is Inequitable to FiosFinder

This is an update to my previous press release: Waiting for Delayed WIPO Decision , which also landed me front page of New Hampshire independent newspaper Union Leader

On January 8th, 2016 WIPO came to a decision two days after promised to transfer FiosFinder.com to Complainant (Verizon) in an unbalanced and unfair decision seen here: (check back – will upload)

 

Settlement Talks

Tanguay has been in talks with Verizon IP lawyer to get compensation of $20,000 for his 7 years of maintenance and improvements on the website and search engine traffic, but has not received confirmation of offer.

Email Discussion With GoDaddy

Because the time is approaching for transfer of FiosFinder.com without filing legal action, the following emails have been exchanged between GoDaddy (Registrar), Tanguay of FiosFinder, and all involved parties (silent):

 

  1. (From Godaddy 1/8/16) Dear Parties,This is to confirm that GoDaddy has received the Decision.We will transfer FIOSFINDER.COM in ten (10) business days on January 22, 2016, unless we receive during this period a complaint following the rules under Paragraph 3(b) (xiii), Rules of the Procedure.RESPONSE REQUIRED FROM COMPLAINANT’S AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE:We require additional information from you. For security purposes, please reply directly to us and do not reply all. In light of the decision, we will need your client’s GoDaddy account number in order to transfer the registration to your client’s account.If the complainant does not have an existing GoDaddy account, please create a new customer account using the instructions found in the link below and communicate the number to us before the tenth business day.2. (From FiosFinder 1/20/16) Dear GoDaddy Disputes,

    Sorry for the delay – I was discussing settlement with Verizon IP Services, which seems to have stalled.

    I am writing this as notice of unfair decision by WIPO in regards to the FiosFinder.com dispute initiated on     and to request the following actions be made:

    **** Move Implementation of Decision automatically to 1/25/16,  a true 10 business days from filing of WIPO decision on 1/8/16 as Monday 1/18 was a Federal Holiday (Martin Luther King)

    Permanently stay and hold the execution of decision as website has been in operation and renewed since February 20th of 2009, with undisputed proof of Complainant’s (Verizon) knowledge of FiosFinder’s operation date of at least January 20th, 2012 in attached Annex A

    – Review WIPO Domain Dispute Policies, Procedures and Compliance for the following summarized issues:

    – WIPO Panel in this specific dispute is biased, being an intellectual property lawyer in New York, seeking work, potentially from Complainant. Fair consideration would allow either non- biased Panel or Panel consisting of website developers.

    – This specific decision was delayed, without explanation of “extenuating circumstances” as described in the rules after missing the first decision due date, extending to January 6th, and then having to be begged into delivering it again on the 8th.

    – That decision unequally favored complainant and did not address Respondent’s (FiosFinder) main defense, the fact that Verizon waited almost 4 years from first contact to legally claim FiosFinder, allowing great effort and expense to improving value of FiosFinder.com, for which Complainant is attempting reverse domain hijacking to gain a seasoned, 7 year old domain that contains website and search engine improvements without compensation.

    – WIPO did not recognize statute of limitations on claim

    – Based on the above issues there is strong evidence pointing to the collusion of Complainant and WIPO, and surely the potential of other domain disputes to be affected in same manner.

    This case is unique as in the fact that Complainant abandoned claim with knowledge (Annex A) that Robert Tanguay and James Seavey were using FiosFinder in what they ascertained was bona fide and in good faith purchase and renewal of 7 transactions with GoDaddy for the FiosFinder.com domain. Verizon IP Services had a duty upon knowledge of Respondents ownership of domain name to defend what they believed was their property and failed to do so. They even said they were prepared to take action as seen in Annex A.

    Please reply with confirmation of holding the transfer of FiosFinder.com so we can investigate further. If Verizon IP Services waited 4 years to bring claim, a further period of review and discussion to address these issues is only fair.

    3. (From Godaddy 1/21/16)Dear Robert Tanguay,

    If you wish to dispute the WIPO decision regarding the domain name FIOSFINDER.COM, we must be in receipt of a file-stamped court complaint following the rules under Paragraph 3(b) (xiii), of the ICANN Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy, prior to the date of implementation set for January 22, 2016.

    The complaint must be filed in the place of mutual jurisdiction, which is Scottsdale, Arizona.  Upon our receipt of a complaint the domain name will not be transferred, per the arbitration decision, but will remain on Registrar-Lock pending the outcome of the legal dispute.

    Please let us know if you have any questions.

    Kindest Regards,

    Jessica H.

    Disputes Administraton

    4. Dear Jessica/GoDaddy Disputes,

    Please delay implementation to Monday 1/25,

    “We will transfer FIOSFINDER.COM in ten (10) business days on January 22, 2016,”

    Where Monday 1/18 was a Federal Holiday, and not a business day

    5.

    Dear GoDaddy Disputes

    Further,

    Mutual Jurisdiction means a court jurisdiction at the location of either (a) the principal office of the Registrar (provided the domain-name holder has submitted in its Registration Agreement to that jurisdiction for court adjudication of disputes concerning or arising from the use of the domain name) or (b) the domain-name holder’s address as shown for the registration of the domain name in Registrar’s Whois database at the time the complaint is submitted to the Provider.

    – source: https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/rules-be-2012-02-25-en

    B) Appears to mean Concord, New Hampshire?

    I am requesting you to clarify the following.

    – January 25th deadline at end of business day

    – Filing allowance in Respondent’s (Defendent – FiosFinder.com) jurisdiction of New Hampshire

    Thank you,