Discussion in 'Domain Name Disputes' started by atlas, Mar 3, 2011.
Thanks for posting this. There is a knock-on effect of this which isn't mentioned. The applicant, Scott Jones, who's IP rights for 3.org.uk were objected to, also applied for 3.co.uk using the same trademark. However 3.co.uk, unlike 3.org.uk, had two applicants and this meant that 3.co.uk would have been sent to auction. Now that Scott Jones' applications have been determined invalid, Palmerston Limited (i.e. "Three" the mobile phone company), became the sole applicant for 3.co.uk and have therefore now obtained it under the sunrise period. This is the application for 3.org.uk by Scott Jones.
What exactly was the objection though?
I'm not sure therefore I can only speculate. Perhaps the trademark for "3native" was subsequently considered not to be similar enough to the mark "3" to be awarded the domain name 3.org.uk, and also to be moved onto the auction phase for 3.co.uk.
It would have been interesting if 3.co.uk had made it to auction because "Three" would definitely not have wanted any other party to obtain it. I cannot imagine another party being able to outbid them either so I question why anyone else, other than them, would bother to apply for 3.co.uk in the first place (because there was slim to no chance of "Three" not realising that the domain name was going to be made available).
Because 3 might have just paid you to go away rather than let you ramp the sales price on them during an auction? Or perhaps another mobile operator would have been interested in acquiring your rights to the auction.
All speculation on my part obviously
Scott has a lot of domains worth serious money, and Three wouldn't know what he was prepared to bid up to. If it was going to auction perhaps Three would have wanted to offer Scott an amount instead to guarantee they won it and potentially save themselves money in the process. It makes commercial sense but we will never know now though.
Edit: Beaten to it by jwm
I wondered about the pay off idea but if they could pay off their opponent, why wouldn't they just decide to bid the same amount and win the auction? The Nominet Trust rather than their opponent would get the money. If another person actually won 3.co.uk at auction because Three didn't bid enough then they'd never make back what they paid for the domain name by using it in any way/shape/form and the only company that would potentially want to buy it would be "Three". There are no other suitors.
I don't think any other mobile operator would potentially infringe upon the rights of another. They all need to work together for interoperability and therefore maintain good relationships.
Having domain names that are potentially worth "serious money" doesn't necessarily translate to having cash in the bank and therefore the ability to bid on a domain name that has a single suitor. That suitor was also the only other participant in the auction. I don't know what form the auctions take. Are they sealed bids or are they conventional auctions? Do you have to provide proof of funds before you can bid?
Putting the mobile network aside, I would imagine that 3.co.uk would be worth 100k anyway and 3.org.uk about 10k to 20k
I don't undertand Nominet doing auctions if they're suppose be a non for profit organisation,I would say xx,xxx for a domain which even at standard Nominet rates would only cost £80 + vat,that is a serious profit :shock:
An auction leaves uncertainty regarding how much the other party is prepared to pay. If I was in the auction, I would want them to make me an offer for a 'pay off' rather than telling them how much I would be prepared to bid. For that reason, it's not possible for them to just bid 'the same amount' to win the auction as they wouldn't know how much I would bid up to. They may be prepared to pay up to £100k at auction considering that is what they allegedly paid for 'three.co.uk', so a pay off could cost them considerably less for a guaranteed win.
Regardless of cash in the bank, it would probably give the impression to the other bidder that he is a serious buyer.
Good point about the auction format though, it's something which I haven't looked into.
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