Green Bay Packers File UDRP Against TitleTown.com (Updated)

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Green Bay, Wisconsin is known as “Titletown” or “Titletown USA” because of the Green Bay Packers. Now it appears that the National Football League team wants the TitleTown.com domain name. The NFL team filed a UDRP at the World Intellectual Property Organization, and it is WIPO Case D2017-1685.

TitleTown.com is a domain name registered to a company called Headquarters.com, Inc. The domain name was created in January of 1996 (over 20 years ago). According to DomainTools’ Whois History tool, the current registrant has owned the TitleTown.com domain name for many years. The earliest entry in DomainTools is from 2005, and the domain name was owned by Headquarters.com at that time. I looked at Archive.org, and the earliest entry is from 1998. At that time, it also appears that Headquarters.com owned TitleTown.com based on the archived landing page.

At the present time, TitleTown.com does not resolve for me. I am not sure when the domain name resolved to a website, although the Archive.org page shows many entries over the years.

It looks like the Green Bay Packers have filed a variety of trademarks for “Titletown,” according to a search of Trademarkia. It also looks like the NFL team has a variety of trademarks that have already been registered. I am not an expert in trademark law, so I can’t really offer any insight about the status of these trademarks or how much turf they may cover.

Interestingly, it looks like “Title Town” or “TitleTown” is a moniker that is taken on by a variety of cities, according to Wikipedia. As noted in the aforementioned Wikipedia article, some people refer to Boston as Title Town because of all the sports championships from the Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics, and Bruins. Apparently, Pittsburgh, Tuscaloosa, and Valdosta also share this nickname.

This UDRP case is going to be interesting to follow. I have heard of people referring to Green Bay, Wisconsin as “Title Town” because of the Packers, but I hadn’t really thought of it as a Packers’ nickname. That said, the NFL team does have trademarks for that term. Additionally, the current owner of the domain name seems to have owned it for almost 20 years (possibly longer), so it would seem that this UDRP filing took a long time. Based on my own view, it seems like it could be challenging for the complainant to prove that the domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith, which would be necessary under the UDRP rules.

Update: The Packers won the UDRP, according to the WIPO website. The decision is not yet published.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Living in Green Bay, the term is heavily used here in regards to the Packers and the city due to the Packers amount of world championships. There is even a Titletown Brewery, to note. The city of Green Bay has a 1997 Titletown TM as well.

    The Packers have spent well north of $60 million buying land (about 75 acres) around the stadium over the years and are naming the current development of it Titletown District. http://www.packers.com/lambeau-field/titletown-district.html

    That is likely use/want/need for the domain name.

    The Green Bay Packers do hold an active 1990 trademark for Titletown U.S.A (74104760)and several directly to Titletown since 2010 to recent.

    As you said, the UDRP will be interesting to watch.

  2. There are a lot of trademarks in different industries for that term.
    In the sports industry lots of teams have won multiple championships and could theoretically use the term.
    If the Packers marketing department like so many corporations want to start using terms or naming things without securing the domain name first then hit the Buy Button Price Or pick another term.
    Another company has owned this domain for 20 years!!

  3. The one determining factor for me is quite simply did the current owner infringe on their mark. That simple, if so, good bye domain if not he keeps it.

    Now I know it isn’t that cut and dry and these things are coin flips even when they shouldn’t be.

    If a good lawyer is used and a case showing multiple uses and the owner did not infringe, they should win. Any other outcome is just the NFL being a bully and the system failing domain owners.

    Keep in mind this is the same org (NFL) who wont pay a small amount to own original SBI film.

  4. if green bay is title town what is boston title world. never mind the tiny 16,693 population foxborough ma

    tell me again how many superbowls the packers have.

    what about them patriots and tommy boy has a ring for his thumb

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