TheSun.com Subject of UDRP Filing

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We are a couple of weeks in to 2019, and it looks like we have our first notable UDRP filing. A UDRP was filed against TheSun.com at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). This UDRP is WIPO Case D2019-0084.

TheSun.com has a creation date of April of 2001, making it nearly 18 years old. The domain name is parked at Uniregistry, with a wide variety of seemingly generic links. There is a message that says “Lease this domain” at the top of the page. Clicking the link brings me to a page within the Venture.com website where the domain name is offered for lease for $10,000/month:

In October of 2017, I wrote about the launch of Venture.com, which was founded by Dr. Kevin Ham and his company. This is notable because a historical Whois record (maintained by DomainTools) from 2004 shows that the domain name was registered to a company using a @proto.com email address. The Whois for @proto.com shows another company name, and based on the photos on the about page of that website, I believe it is affiliated with Dr. Ham. I could be wrong, but to me, this would indicate the same registrant has had the domain name for many years.

The UDRP was filed by News Group Newspapers Limited. This company appears to operate a popular publication called The Sun, which I believe is based in the UK. This publication uses TheSun.co.uk for its website.

Although The Sun is a well-known publication, I think they are going to have a hard time winning the UDRP proceeding. From my perspective, the domain name seems to be very generic. In fact, I see the sun just about every day. In addition, it does not appear that there are any links on the landing page for news or newspapers. Put simply, I can’t imagine anyone would visit TheSun.com and confuse it for the publication.

I will be keeping my eye on this UDRP.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Kevin Ham from Vancouver, his local paper The Vancouver Sun, probably where he got the keyword idea, must be a old domain that never sold.

  2. when I go to wikipedia I see many things for the sun, lots of newspapers, not only relating to the complainant. the complainant can’t even claim worldwide rights to this term when it comes to newspapers.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sun

    Of course the above wikipedia page first refers to what most people think of as the sun:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun

    In fact, “Sun” is a common name for a newspaper. Wikipedia confirms this too
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_(newspaper)

    There has to be a reason newspapers often name themselves “sun” or “the sun”, why that is I’m not sure. But seems to be a generic term when it is even talking about just newspapers.

    But I agree, I went outside today, looked up and saw the sun. As in Sol. Which describes everything we know solar. As in the star everyone in the world knows of as “the sun” in the planetary sense. Our planet revolves around “the sun”, not some stupid newspaper who merely wants this domain.

    Dumb….

  3. It depends on how the domain has been used so far.
    News Corp owns some word TMs for the term “The Sun” (in many Nice classes, including publishing) predating the domain reg date, so, if in the past the domain has been parked with ads related to newspapers, the registrant could lose the UDRP … Furthermore, The Sun has been well-know worldwide for a longtime …
    I’m curious to see how this will pan out …

    • I also think this will be interesting. I am sure one of the best attorneys will represent the domain registrant.

      Regardless of the outcome, the UDRP might be a first step.

    • If there was something potentially infringing up for a little while five years ago or ten years ago and nothing since, does that justify anything? And does the first to squeal have exclusive rights when others have similar TMs? What if it was 10 or 15 years ago? No “statue of limitations”? No opportunity to correct even if there was something, or credit for having corrected already 5, 10 or 15 years ago?

      Clear case of RDNH. Any decision in favor of complaint is a flagrant example of unjust bias toward the rich and powerful elites of the world.

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