Tag Archives: registration

Trademark holder not entitled to domain name registered years before

Arizona State Trailer Sales, Inc. d/b/a Little Dealer Little Prices RV v. World Wide RV, No. FA1003001315658 (Nat’l Arb. Forum, May 7, 2010)

Startups in the process of selecting a company or product name are often frustrated to see that someone else, years ago, registered the .com version of their newly thought-of name. Similarly, companies that have acquired a trademark registration wonder whether they can use their crisp new registration certificate to stomp out someone else who has been using a domain name similar to the company’s new mark.

A recent case arising under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP for short) shows us that the earlier domain name registration is usually going to be on solid ground against a later-arriving trademark owner.

In the case of Arizona State Trailer Sales, Inc. d/b/a Little Dealer Little Prices RV v. World Wide RV, a National Arbitration Forum panelist denied the trademark owner’s cybersquatting claim against another company who had registered the domain name version of the trademark in 2006.

To be successful under the UDRP, the complainant would have had to show:

  • the domain name registered by the respondent was identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainint had rights;
  • the respondent had no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and
  • the domain name had been registered and was being used in bad faith.

The complaint failed on the first of these three elements. The panel found that the requirement of being identical or confusingly similiar “necessarily implies that Complainant’s rights must predate the registration of Registrant’s domain name.” Since the domain name in this case was registered years before, there was no relief to be had. The request to transfer the domain name was denied.

A guide to registering the copyright in your blog

The required procedures for registering claims of copyright in the United States Copyright Office don’t match up well with the practicalities of modern web publishing. It would be almost a full time job to file new copyright applications each time a blog is updated, let alone prohibitively expensive. And what on earth forms are you supposed to fill out? How do you send in a copy of your blog to claim copyright registration in it?

Sarah Bird, Esquire over at SEOmoz.org has written an excellent little article titled Copyright: Sample Forms and Strategies for Registering your Online Content which helps cut through the confusion and anachronisms you’ll face when sending materials to the Copyright Office. She’s a terrific writer (I wish I could write so clearly), and does a great job outlining a subject that is needlessly confounding.