Royal Cat Loses ICANN UDRP Action

By Mark Partridge
Mark Partridge

This is serious. I'm not joking. You can look it up.

Morgan Stanley brought a UDRP action involving the domain name '' against a registrant identified as "Meow ("Respondent"), Baroness Penelope Cat of Nash DCB, Ashbed Barn, Boraston Track, Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire WR15 8LQ, GB."

The decision summarizes the response:

Respondent alleges that it is a cat (sic: the domestic pet). According to Respondent, it allows Mr. Woods (a human) to use the domain name registration in providing a service. Complainant incorrectly states that Mr. Woods teaches a class, as the Complainant is well aware Mr. Woods is a business consultant, the audience for his seminars are senior management of small and medium sized business, not a class. According to Respondent, Mr. Woods was certainly not angry about a Complaint being filed but very surprised that Complainant had used the name but had still failed to register it. These two items are mutually exclusive; one cannot use the domain name and not use the domain name at the same time. It adds: "I do not in my private or my business life do anything in bad faith. I consider the statement an insult and a deformation of my character."

The claim of good faith is rejected, however, with the Panel stating:

Respondent maintains that it is a cat, that is, a well-known carnivorous quadruped which has long been domesticated. However, it is equally well-known that the common cat, whose scientific name is Felis domesticus, cannot speak or read or write. Thus, a common cat could not have submitted the Response (or even have registered the disputed domain name). Therefore, either Respondent is a different species of cat, such as the one that stars in the motion picture "Cat From Outer Space," or Respondent's assertion regarding its being a cat is incorrect.

If Respondent is in fact a cat from outer space, then it should have so indicated in its reply, in order to avoid unnecessary perplexity by the Panel. Further, it should have explained why a cat from outer space would allow Mr. Woods to use the disputed domain name. In the absence of such an explanation, the Panel must conclude that, if Respondent is a cat from outer space, then it may have something to hide, and this is indicative of bad faith behavior.

* * *

The Panel finds that Respondent's assertions that it is a cat provide sufficient evidence to conclude that the Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith. And this despite the fact that the Panel, unlike Queen Victoria, is amused.

Our thanks to Mr. Woods and Panelist Richard Hill: we're also amused. 

By Mark Partridge, Managing Partner at Partridge IP Law

Related topics: DNS, Domain Names, ICANN, Law, UDRP


Re: Royal Cat Loses ICANN UDRP Action Colin Sutton  –  Jun 16, 2006 7:57 PM PDT