Smx 2010 Gripe Domains


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SMX 2010 Gripe Domain presentation by David Mink

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Smx 2010 Gripe Domains

  1. 1. Gripe Sites Intellectual Property Implications Presented by: David Mink Co-Founder of Dream Systems Media
  2. 2. The Situation <ul><li>Client: “We have a reputation problem. Somebody has launched the website - can I do about that? </li></ul><ul><li>You: Ummmm.... </li></ul>.
  3. 3. Introducing the Gripe Site <ul><li>Somebody with an axe to grind (ex-employee, unhappy customer, the competition) </li></ul><ul><li>Purchases a domain name </li></ul><ul><li>Publishes negative information </li></ul>
  4. 5. Trademark Owner's Options <ul><li>Ignore the site </li></ul><ul><li>Send a cease and desist letter </li></ul><ul><li>File a Uniform Dispute Resolution Proceeding (UDRP) </li></ul><ul><li>(To have the domain transferred) </li></ul><ul><li>Bring a law suit for: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Defamation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Copyright Infringement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trademark Infringement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cybersquatting, etc. </li></ul></ul>
  5. 6. Goals of the UDRP <ul><li>Streamlined process for resolving disputes regarding the registration of internet domains </li></ul><ul><li>Less expensive and quicker than traditional legal challenges </li></ul><ul><li>Costs to hire a UDRP provider to handle the complaint start at 1-3K </li></ul><ul><li>Either party can challenge and overturn the UDRP decision in court </li></ul>
  6. 7. UDRP <ul><li>Three elements that the complainant must establish: </li></ul><ul><li>1. Whether the domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights. </li></ul><ul><li>2. Whether the respondent has any rights or legitimate interests in the domain name (for example, the legitimate offering of goods and services under the same name). </li></ul><ul><li>3. Whether the domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith . </li></ul>
  7. 8. Confusingly Similar? <ul><li>YES </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>NO </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  8. 9. Ok... not so sure I am following you? <ul><li>“ Combining a trademark with the word 'sucks' cannot be considered confusingly similar to the trademark.” </li></ul><ul><li>vs. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Not every Internet user is well-versed in the English language.” </li></ul>
  9. 10. Next Factor – Legitimate Interests <ul><li>If the trademark owner can make a prima facie showing that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the mark </li></ul><ul><li>Burden shifts to the gripe site owner, who must now show legitimate interests in the domain name </li></ul>
  10. 11. Legitimate Interests <ul><li>A gripe site can be highly critical of the target if: </li></ul><ul><li>Non commercial use </li></ul><ul><li>Fair use </li></ul><ul><li>Does not tarnish the trademark </li></ul><ul><li>Does not misleadingly divert users </li></ul>
  11. 12. UDRP Bad Faith Standard Was the domain name registered and being used in bad faith? Yes, if: - Circumstances indicate that you bought or acquired the domain for the purpose of selling domain to the complainant (cybersquatting) - Tarnish trademarks (pornographic images, violent images, drug images, etc.) - Trying to prevent owner of the mark from having access to the name, with a history of similar conduct - Trying to divert customers to the registrant's competitive advantage - Trying to sell competing products
  12. 13. Bad Faith Continued Commercial Use Examples: - Link to another site with ads - Pop up - Pay per click ads
  13. 14. Best Practices for Gripers <ul><li>Don't commercialize the site in any way </li></ul><ul><li>The facts and only the facts </li></ul><ul><li>Don't use the trademark alone in the domain name. (Yourtrademark sucks .com gives you a better shot) </li></ul><ul><li>Use a prominent disclaimer </li></ul><ul><li>* Following these practices does not guarantee you won't get complaints </li></ul>
  14. 15. Best Practices for Trademark Owners <ul><li>Look for a commercial use </li></ul><ul><li>Look for a copyright violation and then use the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) to take down the content </li></ul><ul><li>Use cease and desist letters </li></ul><ul><li>Consider no action </li></ul>
  15. 16. Thank You <ul><li>Questions </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter…follow me </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Visit Dream Systems Media </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>