Legal News

FCC.com: Another Frivolous UDRP

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FCC.com UDRP Decision

Not only was the Complainant’s transfer request denied, the company was found guilty of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking.    It’s good to see cases like this go in favor of the Respondent, as we have seen too many generics lost recently (MBF.com, Aspire.com, and Aman.com are just a few examples in my opinion).    

Unfortunately, because of the way the system was set-up, some people are almost encouraged to file a UDRP for $1,500 rather than attempt to buy the name for much more than this. The most recent sale price for FCC.com was $60,000 (from the decision), so it probably would have taken well over $100,000 for the owner to sell – although he develops his names.    It’s harmful that the company was able to take a chance at receiving control of this great name for a mere $1,500 filing fee.    

The Respondent had to spend quite a bit of money defending his rights to the domain name, but was smart in choosing John Berryhill to represent his rights. It’s too bad he can’t file a claim to recover his expenses for this Reverse Domain Name Hijacking attempt.

Snapnames.com Files Suit Against Swapnames.com

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According to this thread on Namepros, Swapnames.com was hit with a trademark infringement lawsuit and will be changing their domain name to Zuho.com. A link to the filing can be found here.

“Carrotheads” vs. “Parrotheads”

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Domain investors often believe domain names are the most frequent target of overbearing trademark holders. That isn’t always the case as evidenced by a recent lawsuit. According to Page Six of the New York Post, singer Jimmy Buffet is suing Six Flags theme parks for infringing on his trademark rights. Six Flags has a 10,000 member “Carrothead Club,” for children who are fans of Bugs Bunny. Buffet believes the name of the club infringes upon his trademark, “Parrotheads,” as his fans are known. The New York Post says that Six Flags has “no plans to discontinue the club.”

LexisNexis Unveils Guide to Domain Name Law

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LexisNexis ® Launches Essential New Guide to Domain Name Law

LexisNexis, the leading legal information database, launched a new guide focused on domain name law.    As domain name ownership becomes more mainstream, it has become essential for attorneys to be knowledgeable about various aspects of domain name law.    From trademark owners protecting their rights to domain name owners protecting their valuable assets, legal representation is more important now than it has ever been in the past.

Some topics covered in the new guide include:

“Formal and informal dispute procedures, with analysis
Extensions currently associated with each jurisdiction
Registry contact information
Access to lists of known accredited registrars
Registration and transfer processes and procedures
Renewal terms and processes
Chapter appendices setting out forms, registry policies, examples, and other hard-to-find, practical information
Thousands of direct links to domain registries and other important sources of information on the Web”
— Source: DomainInformer.com

While this information will be invaluable to lawyers who are new to the field of domain name law, there are a few experienced lawyers who I can either personally recommend, or I have heard positive things about from others.    A few well-known and respected domain name lawyers are listed below with their website contact information:

John Berryhill
Brett Lewis
Howard Neu
Stevan Lieberman
Ari Goldberger

Ignorance is no Excuse

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Candidates locked in name game over Web domains

I’ve been seeing quite a few articles about politicians buying the domain names of their opponents, but I haven’t seen something as blatant as what the lady in the aforementioned article has been doing. The lady apparently believes that she can buy the domain names of realtors, doctors and other professionals in the hopes of selling to them for a profit. I think this is a case of ignorance more than anything else, but it certainly isn’t right. This is straight-up cybersquatting.

As domain investing becomes more mainstream, educating new investors is going to be important. I believe it is the job of the registrars’ to educate their buyers. Companies like Godaddy have gone mainstream, but I believe they are failing to educate their consumers. You wouldn’t leave out seatbelts in a Ferrari, so registrars should educate their buyers on the laws of cybersquatting and the penalties they could bring. As I said in this post, consumers should have “to check off a box acknowledging that they are aware of the Lanham Act and its penalties before every registration.

Someone needs to give this “domain reseller” a clue.

Lulu Sues Hulu

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Lulu site sues News Corp

No, it’s not a joke – Lulu.com has sued News Corp and NBC claiming that their recently announced Hulu.com video sharing website infringes on its trademark. There are currently 184 live and dead trademarks for the term “lulu” according to the USPTO database. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

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