Cybersquatters Infringed Anheuser-Busch and Patrick Dempsey Trademarks, We The People LLC Denied Domain Name Rights
October 14, 2008
MINNEAPOLIS, MN (October 14, 2008) – The National Arbitration Forum domain name dispute resolution program recently handed down decisions regarding the rights to BudRacing.com, BudweiserRacing.com, Patrick-Dempsey.org, and WeThePeople.com. Decisions are made by independent and neutral arbitrators on the National Arbitration Forum Panel in accordance with the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
“At a time when court dockets are overcrowded and attorney fees are increasingly unaffordable, the National Arbitration Forum domain program offers parties the best option for speedy and cost-effective dispute resolution,” said Kristine Fordahl Dorrain, Internet Legal Counsel.
BudRacing.com and BudweiserRacing.com
Claiming two domain names infringed on its trademarks, well-known beer brewing company Anheuser-Busch filed a claim with the National Arbitration Forum on July 8, 2008. The National Arbitration Forum arbitrator found Pen Media LLC to be the current owner of BudRacing.com and BudweiserRacing.com, the domains in question.
The issue of whether each domain was identical or confusingly similar to the BUD or BUDWEISER mark was found in Anheuser-Busch’s favor. The arbitrator found Pen Media evidenced no legitimate use of either domain. In fact, both websites were used to attract traffic from Internet users “looking for Complainant’s famed or well known marks by themselves or in connection with sports events such as motorcycle and/or car racing.” Evidence showed the domains were registered and used in bad faith to profit from the goodwill of the trademarks.
Both BudRacing.com and BudweiserRacing.com were ordered to be transferred to BUD and BUDWEISER trademark owner Anheuser-Busch on August 21, 2008.
On August 1, 2008, Grey’s Anatomy television star Patrick Dempsey filed a claim for rights to Patrick-Dempsey.org against domain name owner Jennifer Frisby.
Mr. Dempsey claimed the domain was identical to his trademark PATRICK DEMPSEY. Upon review the National Arbitration Forum arbitrator agreed, noting the domain “contains Complainant’s mark in its entirety.” Further, the arbitrator ruled Ms. Frisby had no rights or legitimate interests in the website. While she used the domain as a fan site, the arbitrator found she profited from Patrick-Dempsey.org via pay-per-click ads. This proved the domain was being used in bad faith.
Accordingly, the arbitrator found Complainant satisfied all three required elements of the UDRP policy. Patrick-Dempsey.org was ordered to be transferred to Patrick Dempsey on September 5, 2008.
On July 23, 2008, legal document service provider We The People LLC filed a complaint electronically with the National Arbitration Forum against the registered owner of WeThePeople.com. Respondent Michael C. Mason, of Essentia Legal P.C. requested a three-member Panel be appointed to the case.
The Panel found We The People’s trademark to be two-fold, consisting of the WE THE PEOPLE text and a design, and ruled the domain name was not identical or confusingly similar to the mark because it was not reflected in its entirety. Further, Mr. Mason submitted evidence demonstrating his intent to establish the website for the discussion of political issues and current affairs. Panelist Bernstein dissented from the Panel with regard to its holding on the first two elements though agreed with the last. The entire Panel agreed We The People had not proven Mr. Mason registered or used the domain in bad faith.
As such, the Panel denied transfer of WeThePeople.com on September 19, 2008.
To file a claim see http://www.domains.adrforum.com. Questions regarding domain name dispute resolution or e-commerce arbitration may be directed to email@example.com. Media please contact Christina Doucet at 952-516-6486 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the National Arbitration Forum (FORUM)
Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States, the National Arbitration Forum is an international leader in arbitration and mediation services. An innovator in the industry, the National Arbitration Forum was appointed an approved provider of the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) by the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in 1999. Since then, over 10,000 domain name disputes worldwide have been filed through the National Arbitration Forum’s state-of-the-art case management system, now optimized by Forthright. For more information, visit http://www.domains.adrforum.com.
More information about the decisions can be found at: