UDRP Filed on NorthernIreland.com

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A UDRP has been filed with the World Intellectual Property Organization for the descriptive geographic NorthernIreland.com domain name. According to the WIPO website, the UDRP Complainant is Invest Northern Ireland / Northern Ireland Tourist Board. It appears that this organization uses the longer  DiscoverNorthernIreland.com domain name for its website, which probably explains why it wants NorthernIreland.com.

If you visit the NorthernIreland.com domain name, you can see that it is owned by Mike Mann’s company, and it is listed for sale on DomainMarket.com for $600,000. It appears that this domain name has been owned by Mann-affiliated companies for many years.

There have been quite a few UDRPs and lawsuits filed by cities, towns, countries, and other geographic areas, and most have not been successful.  Some of these geographic legal  cases include the following domain names: Pocatello.com,  MyrtleBeach.comBarcelona.com,StMoritz.com, LomaLinda.com, and others. In fact, in the LomaLinda.com UDRP case,  panelist Richard Page made a statement in his dissent which will hopefully be referenced in the NorthernIreland.com UDRP response:  “the general rule that geographic names are not subject to trademark protection.”  The LomaLinda.com UDRP was filed by a hospital rather than the city, and the winning respondent was represented by  Ari Goldberger of ESQwire.com Law Firm.

Obviously, my opinion is that the domain owner should retain this domain name, and should a UDRP panel rule against the domain owner, a lawsuit should be brought by the owner to retain the asset.

10 COMMENTS

  1. @Elliot

    In my opinion, this has to be denied, it’s a slam-dunk.

    @Paul

    Still can’t get over the sale of ireland.com for that figure, I mean wow. What a bargain they got. The Irish Times bought myhome.ie for what…like €50m and then they sold ireland.com for that?

    Gosh.

  2. Considering the high number of Domain Market domains that have obvious trademarks, the respondent walks into the hearing with dirty hands, which has to work against him IMO, unfortunately not to the degree the complainant “Northern Ireland Tourist Board” will prevail, as much as I’d like to see that happen, it’s doubtful.

    • Raider I guess maybe you felt like stirring the pot, but honestly just on principle I can’t see how anyone should want a complainant to prevail in a blatantly bad case like this even if the current registrant was the creature that popped out of William Hurt in the original Alien movie.

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