A UDRP has been filed against Bostonian.com. The complainant in this case is C & J Clark America Inc., which I believe owns the Bostonian shoe brand. The UDRP was filed at the World Intellectual Property Organization, and it is WIPO Case D2016-1159.
Bostonian.com is an old domain name having been created in 1995. I don’t regularly see UDRP cases involving domain names that are over 20 years old. I did a Whois history search, and the oldest historical Whois record at DomainTools is from 2000. At that point, the admin contact was someone in Washington. Although the Whois information was private for quite some time, the current registrant has the same last name as the admin contact in 2000 and is also located in Washington. My guess is that it is the same person / entity that owns the domain name now as it was back then and maybe before.
The domain name landing page currently seems to show shoe-related advertisements, although I am not sure if the domain owner has control over what is being displayed within those links. There is a disclaimer at the bottom of the page that says “Copyright Bostonian.com (not related to the Bostonian Shoe)“. I am not sure how a UDRP panel will look at that.
One of the three aspects a complainant needs to prove is that the domain name “has been registered and is being used in bad faith.” If the current registrant is the same registrant as it was in 2000 or before, it could be hard to prove that the domain name was registered in bad faith. Archive.org shows that Bostonian.com was used differently back in 2000, with a heading that says, “The Smarter Way to Find Greater Boston Information” and a footer that says, “Boston Media Networks Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998. All rights reserved.”
I think the Bostonian brand is well known, but there are other uses for the term. I have rarely heard someone refer to a Boston resident as a Bostonian, but I don’t really know of another term that would be equivalent to New York City residents being called New Yorkers. I also recall someone who went to college with me who had the last name Bostonian.
In any case, this will be an interesting case to watch because of the age of the domain name, prior usage, and the current usage.
Update: According to UDRPSearch.com, this UDRP proceeding has been terminated. The Whois has also updated, and the owner of Bostonian.com is C. & J. Clark America, Inc. Because the UDRP is terminated, I am not sure if there was some type of financial settlement or if the domain owner gave the domain name to the company.
When you visit the page and click on the About link on the bottom right of the page it takes you to a little story that includes this below. They are clearly talking about Bostonian shoes and a Bostonian Shoe Forum. It even has a Bostonian Shoes link at the top of the About page. It looks like this page hasn’t changed since July 2004. Doesn’t look to smart.
If you have problems with your Bostonian shoes, please contact the Bostonian customer service department at:
Visit our Bostonian Shoe Forum if you like to talk about your beloved Bostonian Shoes.
Contact us at bostonian (a) gmail dot com for other information. Bostonian.com not affiliated with the Bostonian Shoes Company.
Wow. I have not thought about Bostonian shoes in years. I use to always wear Bostonian shoes (1970s, 80s, 90s) as part of my corporate uniform (suits).
Looking at the wayback site, they use to have a shoe photo as part of the tab on the website until 2010.
He needs to spend $5k for a IP lawyer otherwise he will not have a slight chance of keeping it.
I wonder if Clark offered to buy it?
Waybackmachine February 15,2006 has pictures of Bostonian shoes. At the bottom of the page the paragraph explains, “Bostonian.com is not related to C. & J. Clark in anyway. We love Bostonian shoes but we not sell them here.”
Hope I never wear my pair again. They’ve been sitting in a closet for years.
It looks like the Bostonian shoes have been around for 117 yrs.
Bostonian was founded in 1899 by Charles Jones in Whitman, Massachusetts and has the distinction of being the first premium men’s shoe company
“Bostonian” TM for Class 25, in particular for shoes, has been filed by the predecessor of C & J Clark America Inc in 1952 and registered in 1953, first use in commerce in 1923.
Furthermore, domain owner developed a website with evident references to “bostonian” shoes, and then parked it with ads clearly linked to the shoes brand.
Don’t think a disclaimer like that I see there or saying it’s a “bostonian shoes fan site” helps … 🙂
Both bad faith in registration and in use are quite easy to prove.
IMHO the domain owner had no chance to keep the domain, probably he voluntarily transferred the name to CJ Clark in exchange for the UDRP termination.
As I guessed, C & J Clark America Inc is the new owner 🙂
The funny thing is that yesterday someone in California, not linked to the company, has purchased the .net on NameJet and has parked it with ads related to shoes … some people never learn … lol 😀
Whois Record ( last updated on 2016-08-09 )
Domain Name: BOSTONIAN.COM
Registry Domain ID: 1979821_DOMAIN_COM-VRSN
Registrar WHOIS Server:
Updated Date: 2016-07-28T20:13:41Z
Creation Date: 1995-09-15T04:00:00Z
Registrar Registration Expiration Date: 2025-09-14T04:00:00Z
Registrar: NETWORK SOLUTIONS, LLC.
Registrar IANA ID: 2
Registrar Abuse Contact Email:
Registrar Abuse Contact Phone: +1.8003337680
Domain Status: clientTransferProhibited
Registry Registrant ID:
Registrant Name: C. & J. Clark America, Inc.
Registrant Organization: C. & J. Clark America, Inc.
Registrant Street: 156 Oak Street
Registrant City: Newton Upper Falls
Registrant State/Province: MA
Registrant Postal Code: 02464
Registrant Country: US
Registrant Phone: +1.6109251247
Registrant Phone Ext:
Registrant Fax: +1.6104443567
Registrant Fax Ext:
Registry Admin ID:
Admin Name: C. & J. Clark America, Inc.
Admin Organization: C. & J. Clark America, Inc.
Admin Street: 156 Oak Street
Admin City: Newton Upper Falls
Admin State/Province: MA
Admin Postal Code: 02464
Admin Country: US
Admin Phone: +1.6109251247
Admin Phone Ext:
Admin Fax: +1.6104443567
Admin Fax Ext:
Registry Tech ID:
Tech Name: C. & J. Clark America, Inc.
Tech Organization: C. & J. Clark America, Inc.
Tech Street: 156 Oak Street
Tech City: Newton Upper Falls
Tech State/Province: MA
Tech Postal Code: 02464
Tech Country: US
Tech Phone: +1.6109251247
Tech Phone Ext:
Tech Fax: +1.6104443567
Tech Fax Ext:
Name Server: NS7.WORLDNIC.COM
Name Server: NS8.WORLDNIC.COM