Lawsuit Filed Over Playboy.London Domain Name

Bloomberg Business published an article this morning about the legal battle that is playing out over the Playboy.London domain name. In a single panel UDRP decision rendered in January, a WIPO panelist ruled that the Playboy.London domain name be transferred to Playboy Enterprises International. The owner of the domain name is fighting to keep it.

According to the Bloomberg Business article, the owner of Playboy.London has filed a lawsuit in order to retain the domain name. From the article:

“Playboy’s lawyers contacted Ross last year to say he didn’t have the right to use the trademark and in January won a ruling from the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva, which handles disputes over Web domains, saying it should be transferred to them.

Ross hired a lawyer and filed a London lawsuit on Feb. 12 to stop that happening.”

I think this is a case to follow because there are thousands of descriptive keywords used by brands, and many of those become available to purchase when new domain extensions go on the market. It doesn’t seem right to me that a brand would automatically get to own that keyword.

For people who buy new gTLD domain names, one aspect of the UDRP ruling I found troubling is found in section 6B: “The Response contains no evidence of use of the Domain Name, let alone non-commercial use.” From my own experience, it can take a lot of time to create and implement a development plan for a business, and I don’t think it’s fair that non-use can be penalized when the name hasn’t even been registered all that long.

I think this will be an interesting case to follow. You can read additional background about the domain name and case on the Bloomberg Business website.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn
  1. Yes, there are thousands of descriptive keywords used by brands, which makes this an interesting case to follow. Let justice prevail. The problem is, how much justice can you afford?

Leave a Reply

Recent Posts Sells for $202k as Apple Registers Swath of AirPlay Domain Names

The largest domain name sale of the day yesterday was The domain name sold for $202,000 in an expiry auction at GoDaddy Auctions.... Acquired for More than $10 Million

Last week, Hilco Digital's Andrew Miller shared that he and Larry Fischer brokered the sale of the domain name. Andrew mentioned that it...

Hilco Digital Assets Announces $10m Investment in Squadhelp

Squadhelp has become a leading brand naming marketplace, connecting business owners and entrepreneurs with domain names listed for sales on its platform. Led by...

Questions Related to Uni —> Afternic Parking Migration

If you are a Uniregistry customer, you most likely received an email explaining the upcoming migration of the Uniregistry Market and parking platform to...

Some Uni-Registered New gTLDs Will be Transferred to 1API

I received an email from Uni (formerly Uniregistry) that I initially thought was a Whois verification email and almost ignored. It was, in fact,...