MMQB: Peril Of Naming Your Website Without EMD

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I want to share an imteresting story that was posted on Deadspin regarding the MMQB.com domain name.

Sports Illustrated (SI) columnist Peter King, who famously covers the National Football League, is known for his MMQB column. MMQB stands for “Monday Morning Quarterback,” and the column is regularly posted following Sunday football games with news, analysis, and opinions about the week’s NFL games. I always find myself reading the column to get King’s insight.

It was recently announced that SI would have a standalone website called The MMQB. The domain name that was referenced is TheMMQB.com, which currently forwards to an internal Sports Illustrated subdomain.

Naturally, many people just assumed that a website called MMQB would be found on MMQB.com. Unfortunately for King and Sports Illustrated, those who visited that domain name would find themselves in unfamiliar territory. MMQB.com is owned by a furniture company, and it’s been that way for years.

Deadspin shared some information from the owner of the MMQB.com domain name, including a bit about a recent negotiation for the domain name, and it’s amusing.

The moral of the story is that people will generally assume you operate the exact match domain name, so be mindful when you name a new website and don’t have that exact match domain name. I suppose Mr. King is luckly that MMQB.com isn’t an adult website or operated by someone else who writes a competing column.

It will be interesting to see if they try to work out some sort of deal for the domain name in the future.

14 COMMENTS

  1. Weird. http://www.mmqb.com calls themselves monday morning quarterback too ? Why does the site have the logo/image from themmqb.com right on the home page, including a (likely unlicensed) image from an NFL player and a byline of Peter King ?
    HELLOOOO . . . are they f’ing crazy ? They then link it to their subscription page. dumb!

  2. They just opened the door a mile wide to lose a UDRP with that “Joke”.

    Some people are incredibly fucking stupid.

    • Because what you call ‘parody’ could just as easily be interpreted as bad faith by a UDRP panelist.

      The guy who lost the UDRP claiming that NBA really stood for “National Bible Association” lost that one, too.

      Or the moron who lost NewportNews.com because he insisted of poking the bear by putting up related ads.

      Incredibly stupid behavior. If I were a judge and you came into my courtroom with “Uh, well, IT’S A PARODY! YEAH, THAT’S THE TICKET! A PARODY!”, I’d dismiss that as non-credible and have no problem finding both confusing similarity AND bad faith.

      Dumb, dumb, dumb.

    • I wouldn’t be too fast to write it off.

      I wonder if the people who have screenshots of Dallas Cowboys stuff plastered all over Cowboys.com (who hastily ‘changed course’ once it was pointed out) would receive such a flippant and mocking response from the owner of that domain.

  3. Here is why MMQB.com is getting so much traffic. SI messed up and put out the wrong domain name for the site on different articles. Stupid!

    http://m.si.com/3191361/19b4a8a0/

    SI doesn’t need the name and that’s why they offered only $1500 for it. The name of the site isn’t MMQB it is The MMQB and chances are it will never be a stand alone site and will always link through SI.com. It has to be stated that they are not branding themselves as Monday Morning Quarterback but as “The MMQB”. Take a look around the site and its clear how they are branding it. The owner of MMQB.com better be careful and remove that link from his site or ESPN is going to shove some of his office furniture up his ass.

  4. Interesting use of mmqb.com for sure, yikes.

    Then again we know of a man who had a ***sucks.com domain and yet sold that *** company a $XXX domain for $750,00 so who knows lol

  5. Nice post on EMD.
    Yesterday I read an article at DomainSherpa “The Secret of EMD: Exact Match Domains Revealed” where it mentioned that “Facebook” started with “TheFacebook.Com” and later bought the “FaceBook.Com.”

  6. To be successful, a UDRP complainant would need to prove that these are all true:

    “(i) your domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights; and

    (ii) you have no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and

    (iii) your domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.”

    The MMQB is brand new, so I doubt they would even be able to convince a panelist of #1. MMQB.com has been online for many years as a furniture website, so obviously a complainant wouldn’t prove that #2 was true. Given the amount of content on the site vs. the one parody graphic on the home page, I highly doubt they could prove #3.

    That all said, I am quite sure a UDRP panelist would not even have to opine on the second or third factor.

    Perhaps it is unwise to have the graphic, but based on the requirements of the UDRP, I can’t see any way they would be able to win.

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