Domain Name Victory
Optical Express Ruined My Life domain name and website was created by Sasha Rodoy, campaigner for government legislation for the refractive eye surgery industry, to provide a platform for unhappy patients to tell their stories, seek advice, engage in discussion and warn others of the risks of undergoing surgery at Optical Express.
1 April 2014
Re Nominet DRS 13417: Appeal dismissed!
"The (Nominet) panel concludes that no exceptional grounds have been established so as to justify such a rehearing."
Optical Express told The Observer: "We are extremely disappointed and surprised by the decision of the Nominet Dispute Resolution Service appeal panel as we believe we had a very strong case. We are now actively considering our options with regard to pursuing our challenge via other avenues."
7 January 2014
Legal representative for Optical Express, Jamie Watt, emailed Nominet DRS: "On behalf of our client DCM (Optical Holdings) Limited, we provide hereby a statement of intention to appeal the above noted decision... We calcute that an appeal notice must be submitted by our client, along with the balance of the appeal fee, within 15 days of today's date, that is, by 11.59pm on Tuesday 28th January 2014"
1 January 2014
Nominet panellist Bob Elliott ruled: "This is an attempt at a second bite of the cherry, within a short period after an unsuccessful first attempt". He added that there were insufficient grounds for a rehearing of the case and rejected Optical Express's complaint.
16 October 2013
Legal team for David Moulsdale/DCM (Optical Holdings) Ltd, Harper MacLeod, yesterday submitted yet another complaint to Nominet in an attempt to have this website taken down. Their complaint is apparently based on a claim that Russell Ambrose (Optimax Ultralase owner) funded the OERML domain name registration to discredit his competitor:
"Registration of the domain name, and development of the site, is asserted by the respondent to have been funded by the principal competitor of the complainant, being Optimax (“Optimax”). As such the domain name and the site appear to be in effect a paid advertorial made by Optimax. This is not revealed upon the site. As such it would appear that the operation of the site, and as such the use of the domain name, is contrary to the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (the “Regulations”). Registration and use of a domain name and a website linked thereto in a manner contrary to applicable law and regulation is prima facie abusive, and prima facie an unfair disruption of the business of the complainant."
We can't give away all the details for obvious reasons, but here's one example of how David Moulsdale's legal team might have made a big mistake with their claim, not mentioned in their submission to Nominet DRS:
3 August 2012
Independent legal expert Keith Gymer, appointed by Nominet UK - paid by Optical Express, determined that "no action should be taken" in respect of the complaint!
Had Optical Express simply ignored the site, it would most likely have remained undisturbed, attracting little attention. Instead, as a result of OE's legal attack, Sasha Rodoy's victory set a precedent, now referenced globally on the net by countless legal firms.
It has also become a high profile site, with contact from increasing numbers of unhappy patients needing help, much to the dismay of Optical Express and CEO David Moulsdale.
Surprisingly, none of the UK press made any reference to the OERML domain name victory, unlike coverage given to the Nominet decision made against domain name "ihateryanair.co.uk", mentioned in The Guardian, The Times, Telegraph, Daily Mail, Mirror and most other UK newspapers.
To protect their Wikipedia article Optical Express had previously established an editor to monitor the article in order to delete negative references.
Following Nominet's DRS decision in August, the OE Wikipedia article became a battleground for months fighting for the OERML domain reference to be included, with non OE editors arguing - quite rightly - that it was fact.
By December 2012 however, the entire Wikipedia Article had shrunk to a fraction of its original size, with no mention of OERML, many other facts deleted, and all trace of lengthy discussions vanished from its Talk page!
Disappointingly, it must be said that Wikipedia, in this instance, has proven itself an unreliable source of factual information.
27 April 2012
DCM Ltd (Optical Express parent company) complained to Nominet UK that the OERML domain name was an "Abusive Registration".
Legal team for DCM Ltd, Harper MacLeod, made a similar complaint to website host 123-reg, who advised that unless the true accounts from Optical Express patients were removed the website would be taken down.