Met Life Wins in Time

At the end of May, insurance giant MetLife filed a UDRP for the domain name, which had been registered by a person in New Jersey in 2009. The company was awarded the domain name at the end of June, and it was just announced that it acquired naming rights  for the New Meadowlands Arena, where the NFL’s New York Giants and New York Jets play football.

It appears that the registrant of the domain name made a pretty good guess that MetLife would end up acquiring the naming rights, well before it happened. In his response, the respondent claimed he registered the domain name “to create a fan based website/blog related strictly to the social network of the fans associated with any sports or venue performance at the New Meadowlands Stadium.”

One thing people should be aware of before purchasing any domain name that contains a well known trademark is that simply by adding a word to it does not make it safe to own and/or use. According to the panelist in the proceeding, “Adding a generic term to Complainant’s mark fails to remove the Disputed Domain Name from the realm of confusing similarity.” There are of course exceptions to this, but that is a good rule of thumb.

That being said, if the domain owner may have been able to use it legitimately, this panel ruled that he hadn’t started, and the domain name had not been used as the respondent claimed to have intended prior to the UDRP filing. “This failure to actively use the Disputed Domain Name is not a  bona fide  offering of goods or services.”

In my opinion, it’s unfortunate that MetLife had to pay $1,500 to file a UDRP like this, but at least the company was able to get a domain name they will surely use for many years ahead. The domain name does not yet resolve.

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. Great piece of advise….

    Let say you purchased an expired domain (two keyword) that had been initially registered 15 yrs ago, is it advisable to approach the orginal registrant of the name to attempt to sell it back…?

  2. @ Dan1

    I wouldn’t do that.

    It will likely annoy the person quite a bit because they either let it expire intentionally or it was a mistake. If a mistake and they think you’re ripping them off, they could post articles or call the press to let them know about this. Of course you are in the right legally (except if they have a TM), but most people wouldn’t understand and you’d look like a bad guy. I personally would not bid on a domain name if I knew the only person/company that might want to buy it from me is the company that dropped it.

    I’ve never ever contact a previous registrant. Maybe it’s because I’m too nice and would probably just give it back if it was an error.

  3. @Elliot

    Thanks Elliot! I don’t believe TM is an issue as the name is a common dictionary phrase/term and not listed at the US PTO. Regardless, your advise is sound and welcomed as this domain name maybe better suited for another end-user.

  4. I agree with your advice as far as it being a good rule to follow in light of this ruling,… But I just disagree with the ruling and others like it. This is just a way that big companies rip off regular people. Why don’t these big companies and their fat cats invest in the domain names in the first place? Or try to be fair with the creative investor that thought to go to the trouble to register the domain name. Why not look at the domain name like any other investment in the business? Pa y a fair price for the domain name .
    On the other hand, domainers that invest in domain names that may have trademark issues should invest the time to come up with a good concept and use the domain creatively legitimately and positively.


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