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    Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) The Weirdness Never STOPs
    posted by jon on Tuesday July 16 2002, @02:28PM

    dtobias writes "Some more odd results from the STOP (Startup Trademark Opposition Policy) for the .biz domain:

    In what is one of the weirdest cases under any domain dispute policy, Bainbridge Inc. of, San Diego, CA challenged themselves. Yes, they registered bainbridge.biz successfully, then proceeded to file a challenge against their own company under a startup intellectual property claim. Naturally, they lost the case and they won the case. Actually, the respondent defaulted, but the panelist still ruled against the complainant."



    Inconsistencies continue to abound in the treatment of generic words that also happen to be somebody's trademark. Want to play ball with the .biz domain? You're out of luck, as your bat.biz and ball.biz have been taken away by overzealous trademark interests and the panelists who love them. But whirlpool.biz survived a challenge on the grounds of its generic meaning, despite the challenger having a trademark (for appliances) that's much more famous than most of the other "generic trademarks" that won STOP challenges.

    Similarly, on the geographic-name front, paris.biz was ruled generic, but ottawa.biz was a trademark violator.

    In what has to be in the running for the stupidest STOP challenge, National Business Furniture filed a challenge against chairs.biz, despite not having any trademark remotely resembling this generic word for a furniture item. They had trademark applications (not approved yet, and possibly headed for denial on the grounds of genericness) containing references to furniture (none including the word "chair"), but just how they got from there to a claim of ownership of the term "chair" is completely inscrutable. Did they really think that by applying for any furniture-related trademark they automatically cornered the market for any references to any type of furniture? Fortunately the claim was denied.

     
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  •  
    This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
    The Weirdness Never STOPs | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 11 comments | Search Discussion
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    Re: The Weirdness Never STOPs
    by fnord (groy2kNO@SPAMyahoo.com) on Wednesday July 17 2002, @01:28AM (#7929)
    User #2810 Info
    bainbridge.biz is weird, but things could be weirder. Am I not correct that if Bainbridge the complainant had won, then bainbridge.biz was immune from further challenge? It's been so long since this new TLD rollout mess started that I can't remember if that was just immunity from other STOPs or blanket immunity under the UDRP. That might help to explain why they challenged themselves. Or mebbe they just didn't RTFM.

    This is one good example of how new TLDs are being used, misused and abused. bainbridge.biz doesn't presently resolve, perhaps they were awaiting the outcome of the ruling. :) The same complainant/respondent also has bainbridge.info, which, after an annoyingly slow loading and lame Flash intro, redirects to what appears to be their main site at bainbridgeinc.com. They also own and use bainbridgeconsulting.com to Flash and redirect a la bainbridge.info, ditto for bainbridge-research.com, bbridge.com, and a host :) of others. Perhaps now that they've managed to win this hardfought decision, they'll put bainbridge.biz to such stellar use. What can you expect when this consulting firm's motto is Optimizing your strategic position?

    Well, one might expect them to position themselves at bainbridge.com if possible, but that was last registered in April 2002 to someone apparently in Panama (and presumably not the complainant/respondent) and doesn't resolve. Prior to that the domain sat for three years looking like this. Even a stopped clock can't slow the future from becoming the past. Meanwhile bainbridge.net is an ISP just to the south of me in Washington State I once did some business with, and bainbridge.org is a generic page for a netidentity property, along the lines of .name, eg: flash@bainbridge.org and flash.bainbridge.org, which the consulting firm has yet to register, though of course they're not an .org so they shouldn't anyway. ;)

    And just to complete this little tour of new and used gTLD domain names, let's look at a few ersatz ones. bainbridge.tv is also owned by the complainant/respondent but rather than show their Flash interstitial (arguably, if you accept .tv as a gTLD, this is the best address for it because it is just like a TV advert, only worse), instead it is just a register.com Coming Soon placeholder page that will attempt to reset your default home page and give you popup ads. This isn't the consulting firms fault, at least not entirely, the register.com homepage will try the same.

    bainbridge.ws is the same register.com drek, I wasn't able to access the WHOIS on that one after various tries using various tools. register.com itself tells me the database is currently inaccessible. Of course, register.com will only coyly tell me that bainbridge.ws may be available until three pages in, after which they offer to contact the present owner to see if they want to resell it, minimum offer $200. The WHOIS, when it is accessible, is even better hidden. Well, of course, otherwise I could look up the owner myself and contact them rather than give register.com a cut. I think I'll pass anyway, bainbridge.cc is unaccountably still available, I don't know why the complainant/respondent consulting and capital company missed that one, clearly it shows they aren't aggressively protecting their mark. :) -g

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: The Weirdness Never STOPs
    by fnord (groy2kNO@SPAMyahoo.com) on Sunday July 21 2002, @05:00AM (#7995)
    User #2810 Info
    Well, I thought that was wrong, or not the whole story, so I went to have a look [4.l.ii 1 and 2].:
    In the event that the Complainant demonstrates that:

    it has legitimate rights to the domain name,
    you have no legitimate rights, and

    you have either registered the domain name in bad faith or used the domain name in bad faith,

    and the Respondent fails to demonstrate that it has legitimate rights to the domain name, the Panel will find in favor of the Complainant, award the domain name to the Complainant, and decide that no subsequent challenges under this Policy against the domain name(s) that is/are the subject of the Panel's decision shall be permitted.

    In the event that you demonstrate that you have legitimate rights to the domain name, the Panel will dismiss the complaint, and decide that no subsequent challenges under this Policy against the domain name(s) that is/are the subject of the Panel's decision shall be permitted.

    So as I said, challenging oneself could make one immune to future challenges. This is similar to what happened with various false trademarked .info names, where the challenger and respondent were essentially the same entity, and the challenger usually won. SFAIK the thinking of the panel in those cases hasn't been published. That may be because there wasn't any. -g

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: Court Throws Out Canadian.biz decision
    by fnord (groy2kNO@SPAMyahoo.com) on Monday July 22 2002, @03:05AM (#8001)
    User #2810 Info
    That link doesn't work, isn't it udrplaw.net? Although the .biz is the underlying link given at udrplaw.net. Trying http://www.udrplaw.net/BlackvMolson.pdf was also unsuccessful. Here is some press coverage of the ruling. -g
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: Court Throws Out Canadian.biz decision
    by fnord (groy2kNO@SPAMyahoo.com) on Monday July 22 2002, @09:06AM (#8009)
    User #2810 Info
    The .biz link now works, it isn't presently at the equivalent .net. -g
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
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