There was an article on Chron.com that I found interesting, and I want to share it with you. Texas A&M University privately acquired the 12thMan.com domain name from a company that had been using the domain name for its business but had ceased operations. The seller was unable to share the sale price, presumably due to a non-disclosure agreement.
Apparently, “12th man” is a trademarked term that is owned (and protected) by Texas A&M. According to the Chron.com article, “Texas A&M has been in the midst of an aggressive legal campaign to defend its 12th Man trademark.” In fact, last week, several news outlets reported on the Texas A&M UDRP filing against the 12thManThunder.com domain name. 12thManThunder.com was registered by a Buffalo Bills (NFL) fan who wants the team to stay in Buffalo. It appears that domain name is forwarding to BillsFanThunder.com.
Because of its long ownership history and prior usage, I assume the University would not have been successful using the UDRP process or the legal system to take 12thMan.com from the former owner, but it is always something a domain owner should be cautious about when negotiating with the owner of a trademark, especially if they aggresively defend the mark. Judging by the former owner’s comments in the Chron.com article, it appears he and the University were able to reach a mutually agreeable deal.
One thing I noticed is that the University does not own the .com domain name for its Aggies nickname. Aggies.com is owned by someone who does not appear to be associated with Texas A&M. It’s interesting that the University bought 12thMan.com rather than the Aggies.com domain name for its athletics website.