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.