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I've registered several variations of the name as .co.uk's. and .coms
But the best .com has been idle for 2 years or so. Its recently expired and has reached pending deletion. Optimistically I was quietly hoping it might just drop and I'd get it at snapnames or similar
then surprise surprise... I've just received a mail offering me the domain for a very large sum from someone who claims ownership.
I'm pretty sure its not the previous owner
whois shows previous contacts have now changed to the registrar(?)
reading those threads, and ICANNS URDP and WIPO stuff it seems I might have some legal challenge based on my existing domains / trading name. They operated in bad faith, no right to name, bought only for profit etc
Q) do I actually have any legal right to the domain?
if so what can I do to enforce this? and would it wrong to negotiate?
if not, what can I best do to get the domain for a reasonable sum?
I realise I might need decent legal advice but informed opinion will be a help to decide best direction.
thanks for any input
Bear in mind that the seller may not currently be the owner of the domain, they may be waiting for the domain to drop and are confident they will acquire it. Just because it is the registrar's details on the whois doesn't mean that it the registrar who are contacting you.
Does the seller propose a price that is less that the potential cost of legal action? Do you feel that the seller is holding you to ransom? If you feel the seller is acting in bad faith, then negotiation is probably out of the question as there would be no basis of trust.
I'd guess that the change of ownership is in your favour, as they cannot claim to have a 'going concern site' that would be damaged by transferring the name to you.
The Internet IS a law unto itself ... but there are plenty of precedents to refer to on domain names - and in the UK, they tend to favour the plaintiff over the squatter.
But that's a guess; do not act without advice, as it may cost you thousands.
NB I'm not a lawyer etc., etc.
Do you have a registered trademark? You wouldn't need to here in the States to be enforceable but the UK may be different.