Panel denies Salesforce the name in domain dispute

After filing a complaint (Case No. 1416951) with the National Arbitration Forum last month against Internet Venture Holdings (IVH) over, has been denied the domain name.

Not surprisingly, the panel found that <> was not identical or confusingly similar to any mark in which has rights.  As a result, the name was ordered to remain with its owner Internet Venture Holdings (IVH) and will not be transferred to

Because the panel concluded that the domain was not identical or confusingly similar, it didn’t bother establishing whether IVH had no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; or whether the domain had been registered and was being used in bad faith.

There was also no finding of reverse domain hijacking.

If really wants a generic domain, they should pay the asking price, not bully smaller companies.

Full details of the panel’s decision can be read online here.

Disputes National Arbitration Forum News attempts to hijack by filing domain dispute

Marc Benioff

Earlier this month, filed a complaint (Case No. 1416951) with the National Arbitration Forum against Internet Venture Holdings (IVH) over the domain

While complainants in disputes filed with the National Arbitration Forum aren’t revealed until a panel delivers a decision, I contacted IVH to see if my suspicions were correct “that was behind the complaint” and an IVH representative confirmed via e-mail that, indeed, was the complainant.

What’s interesting about this case – and this isn’t unheard of – is that not only has a good chance of losing the dispute, but it may face a claim of “reverse domain hijacking”.

If the software giant loses the dispute and IVH contends that engaged in ‘reverse domain hijacking’, could be labeled a “reverse hijacker” by the presiding panel.  “Reverse domain hijacking” is found if the company knew or should have known at the time that it filed the complaint, that it could not prove that was registered in bad faith. 

Though has publicly acquired domain names in the past for large sums of money such as the purchase of for over $1.5 million, it doesn’t mean the company won’t bully smaller companies into giving up their domains if it doesn’t feel like paying the seller’s asking price.

Unfortunately, a finding of reverse domain hijacking likely won’t mean much punishment in terms of the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP).

According to sources online:

The Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act does not expressly recognize reverse domain name hijacking and often only limits defendants’ recovery to retention or transference of the domain name. It also fails to provide any remedies for victims of attempted reverse cybersquatting. However, the statute permits some monetary relief where bad faith, reckless disregard or the willful violation of a court order are involved.

However, if decides it still wants to acquire the domain after being labeled a “reverse hijacker”, the ball will definitely be in IVH’s court, who own hundreds of other prized, generic domains like and

Even if loses the dispute (which it should) and somehow avoids the hijacking label, I don’t see this ending well for

(Photo of Marc Benioff, CEO of via Flickr)


Buyers passed on the domain at TRAFFIC NYC 2009, now unveils


TechCrunch is reporting that, the cloud computing company that runs the world’s #1 sales application, has launched, its enterprise cloud database.   Last year, if you recall, the domain name went up for sale at the TRAFFIC 2009 New York Domain Conference – with a reserve range of $800,000-900,000 USD. 

Buyers passed on the name, with some commenting that: “Database [] is not worth $250,000 let alone $800,000!”.

Not everyone saw the potential of the name, but Salesforce CEO and founder Marc Benioff did.

Marc Benioff says: “We see cloud databases as a massive market opportunity that will power the shift to real-time enterprise applications that are natively cloud, mobile and social.”

Built to power cloud-based applications, will offer an infrastructure for enterprise apps to deliver updates and information in real-time. Developers can write their applications in Java, C#, Ruby, PHP or more and can run their apps anywhere – on, VMforce, Amazon EC2, Google AppEngine, Microsoft Azure or Heroku.

Apps can also run natively on any device, like an iPad, an iPhone, Android or Blackberry. Salesforce says that these apps can all call the APIs whether it be for a small application or for an app that supports hundreds of thousands of users. heavily invests in domain names for branding purposes.  In 2007, the company acquired  As Andrew Allemann pointed out: “The branding change was necessary because the company has expanded beyond simply sales management.”  eWeek ran a story that discussed the domain acquisition. 

Apparently Salesforce was in negotiations for the domain with a California man who had used the dot-com designation for his company, which was named for his surname, according to media reports. Its not clear how much Salesforce paid for the right to, but the ownership of has enabled Salesforce, finally, to settle on a brand with continuity.

“We needed a name change. The message wasnt clear enough,” Benioff said during a question-and-answer session with press and analysts following his keynote address. “The key thing was getting the brand out there, a new brand. [We had] sales, service, marketing [and then] heres the platform and the UI. On the platform side, we needed a revision of naming. I did it under duress of the employees. Today I think we really got that.”

Read more about the debut of