BMA.com Hit With UDRP

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When I think of the acronym, BMA, nothing really comes to mind off of the top of my head. Unfortunately for the owner of BMA.com, a company believes its rights  supersedes  that of the registrant, and it filed a UDRP for the domain name at the  World Intellectual Property Organization.

According to the WIPO UDRP database, a UDRP was filed for BMA.com very recently. The complainant is a company called  Braunschweiger Maschinenanstalt AG, which I’ve never heard of before reading this.  Based on the logo on its website, BMA-Worldwide.com, the company wishes to be known as BMA.

AcronymFinder.com lists 81 results for the “BMA” acronym (it does not include this company among its results). The TESS database at the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) lists 32 records for the term “BMA,” 13 of which are live. Other companies and organizations that use the BMA acronym include:

  • Baltimore Museum of Art
  • Business Marketing Association
  • British Medical Association
  • Baptist Missionary Association
  • Banco Macro Sa (Stock symbol is BMA)
  • Blue Mountain Artists
  • Birmingham Museum of Art
  • Boisselle Morton & Associates
  • … Countless other companies using BMA initials

At the present time, BMA.com is parked with what appears to me to be an untargeted landing page. From my perspective, this would indicate the owner didn’t intentionally park the name to confuse visitors into thinking it is related to Braunschweiger Maschinenanstalt AG.  There is also an advertising banner at the top that says “Bachelor of Musical Arts & More.”

I hope the domain owner has a good UDRP attorney.

28 COMMENTS

  1. I saw that WIPO today, Elliot. Makes me sick. I do hope they get whacked with reverse domain hijacking. The system was put in place to protect those with legitimate beefs and not some company that is too cheap to pay for what someone else has paid for for probably many years.

  2. This is part of the “new normal”. Those could have been anyone’s initials or any company’s initials. I hope that Braunschweiger Maschinenanstalt AG fails in all of its endeavors.

  3. Wasn’t BMA one of those music clubs that would send you a different cd every month back in the day and they would send you like a catalogue of postage stamps of all the albums to put on the form. Man those were loads of fun and pissed my parents off when I was a kid.

  4. Elliot,

    This really is the exception rather than the rule. The fact the German company is trying to get a $120,000 domain by risking the filing fee, well, this is the bottom line.

    The company’s main name is BMA-Worldwide.com. Shitty domain. No wonder they want to get BMA.com. But certainly they don’t deserve it. No one has ever heard of this company.

    No use in fear-mongering it. It happens once in a while.

  5. “No use in fear-mongering it. It happens once in a while.”

    @ em

    There’s no fear mongering, as I am just reporting this particular UDRP. I laid out the facts without much in the way of opinion I think. I didn’t warn people that this puts 3 letter .com names in peril or anything like that, so no “fear mongering” that I can see.

    I own a pretty good 3 letter .com name and have turned down inquiries from 3 companies that use the 3 initials. I don’t park it and have rights to it, but it’s still sucky that companies can file UDRPs for domain names like these (that’s my opinion).

  6. BMA-Worldwide.com doesn’t have a chance, assuming that the process were actually judicious.. The domain has only been in existence since 2007. Why don’t they go after BMA.de? They don’t because the German government would laugh at them.

    There are no records of BMA.com being sold. It was first created in 1997. Clearly the German company is trying to “steal” the domain.

  7. There appears to be multiple International Trademarks registered for BMA from Italy, France and Austria.. Further research reveals that BMA-worldwide.com is trying to expand internationally (sometimes you can’t trust the name…:))

    It’s clear they attempted to get the best name possible for internationalization and could not so they decided to try and pry the best one away from the rightful owner. Cheap business, IMO. A hostile takeover attempt, in any case.

  8. Elliot,

    I would say, “I hope the domain owner has a good UDRP attorney.”, is a bit of fear-mongering, Wouldn’t you? Unless there are alternative ways of reading to which I am unaware of.

  9. LOL… I hope he has a good attorney like Ari Goldberger, John Berryhill, or Brett Lewis to help him defend it. I’ve seen plenty of bad UDRP rulings and no matter how clear cut a UDRP looks to me, they sometimes go the other way.

  10. I think the facts are pretty clear here. It’s unfortunate that the WIPO process is such a joke. I will now go looking through my LLL.tld and see which ones I can file a WIPO for. Like I said: cheap, cheap business. They should just swallow the fact, like a man, that someone else got to the name before they did. End of story.

  11. Elliot, I think you’ve resolved to take a common sense expression and make it your own! 🙂

    In any case, I still think the people who go after domain names by “creative” filings deserve the insomnia they suffer from….

  12. “I think the facts are pretty clear here.”

    In all fairness (and this is coming from someone who owns many 3 letter .com’s) we don’t know any of the facts here just that a case was filed.

    It’s possible that the owner of bma.com engaged in the type of communication with bma worldwide that gives them a leg to stand on.

    Or even entertained an offer from a third party.

    A few years ago such a communication was used against us in a case and it wasn’t even wasn’t even with the people who wanted the name. It was through a third party broker (of which you are all aware) that contacted and then provided that info to the seller a year later. The actual email was included in the udrp.

    We won but it wasn’t an easy win.

    It’s possible that the owner of bma.com wanted a reasonable amount of money but it’s also possible that they wanted 5,000,000 and they pissed off bma-worldwide.com

    Once the case is decided and we read the complaint we will know more about what could have been done differently.

    Three letter names are valuable but they are also like a dangerous weapon or power tool. You have to know how to handle them to avoid problems. And from experience I can tell you that the chance of a problem is actually less than 1/2 of 1%.

  13. @ larry

    If the person who owns BMA.com had a communication with BMA-Worldwide, what difference would that make? It is that person’s right to ask whatever they want. I think you are talking about revenge filings…

    But then again, we are talking about the WIPO process…

  14. “If the person who owns BMA.com had a communication with BMA-Worldwide, what difference would that make?”

    Because it can be used to prove this:

    “(i) circumstances indicating that you have registered or you have acquired the domain name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the domain name registration to the Complainant who is the owner of the trademark or service mark or to a competitor of that Complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of your documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name;”

  15. He should build a mini site and just come up with an acronym for BMA period!

    Can they take it away from me if I build “Best Man Adi” mini site? This is just BS.

  16. The BMA is a very well known term in the United Kingdom.

    Anyone with any knowledge of current affairs over here will think of it first and foremost as the British Medical Association – the trade association of Doctors, and a very influential body.

    This is a ridiculous and iniquitous attempt to steal a domain.

  17. I agree…total attempt to steal this domain! Maybe we’ll see a reverse hijacking counterclaim and then at least the respondent can recover it’s legal fees that will have spent for this nonsense.

  18. What Mike said “This is part of the “new normal”

    And it’s going to get worse because there is only one BMA,com and thousands of suitors, so it’s not even a matter of money. One of a kind, finite asset is priceless.

    As it says on NaMedia.com, “Innovators across the Web are discovering the power and value a premium domain name can bring their online presence.

    Domain names are as prevalent and under-appreciated as the air we breathe and the water we drink. Nothing is more important online. Today more than ever, NAMedia recognizes the under-appreciated asset that domain names are.”

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