False claims : We used to own this domain name

Recently, I’ve experienced an increase in a new type of claim when receiving domain inquiries.

The other party states that they owned the domain name in the past, but they somehow lost access to it.

In the cases I’m referring to, the claims are outright false.

As I hold domain names long term and document when and how they were acquired, I am able to go back several years and refute these claims instantly. I also use DomainTools and other industry tools to go back through a domain’s WHOIS history, sometimes into the early 1990s.

Why would another party claim that the domain they’re making an offer on was theirs in the past?

There are a couple reasons that I can think of.

First, they might be confused and are thinking of another variant, a typo, a dashed version or different TLD even.

Second, they are outright lying, to establish some form of “rights” in their own mind.

Lying about owning a domain in the past, can be an indication of unethical behavior.

It is important to refute these claims, when made, in order to restore the truth and to prevent the other party from assuming that you can be swayed by such arguments.

Being falsely told that a domain that is legitimately yours  belonged to someone else in the past, can be a sneaky method to devalue it, or stake a claim in it. Such allegations must be refuted at all times.

Whether the other party knowingly or mistakenly makes these claims of prior ownership, they often seek a discounted price based on these false claims. Once you make it clear that this is not the case, your next move is to remain firm with your asking price, or cut off communications if they continue with their false allegations.


  1. Regardless, save for preceding trademark rights, an ex-registrant of a domain name has no rights in the domain name today. The ex-registrant gave up all registration rights to the domain name when it became an ex-registrant by allowing the domain name to expire and drop after a long-duration ICANN-established renewal window.

  2. Logan – Agreed, however this is not about such cases. It’s about making an 100% false claim in having had prior ownership.

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