Imec International owns the domain name imec.be, and claimed that IMEC Hosting had no rights or legitimate interest in the domain, as “an internet search did not return results on a company called IMEC hosting”.
The independent research and innovation hub brought the complaint to the National Arbitration Forum in February.
Imec International also claimed that the domain was registered in bad faith, and that IMEC Hosting had attempted to sell the domain name to Imec International for an “excess of out-of-pocket costs”.
But yesterday (29 March), a three-person panel found that Imec International had failed to make the case that IMEC Hosting lacked rights and legitimate interests in the domain.
Despite their findings, the panel did not find Imec International guilty of reverse domain name hijacking.
“Although the panel has found the complainant has failed to satisfy its burden under the policy, this does not necessarily require a finding of reverse domain name hijacking on behalf of the complainant in bringing the instant claim.”
Two decisions, in 2003’s ECG European City Guide v Woodell and 2001’s Houston v Moran, require a finding of bad faith on the part of the complainant to prove reverse domain name hijacking, the panel explained.