domain name case analysis


Published on domain name case is very interesting and it includes many point of views and
different argument. In this paper, we are going to state the facts from each party point of view
including Nissan computer and Nissan Motors, in addition to general public point of view,
lawyer’s point of view an Internet Analysis for will be included and finally our

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  1. 1. MOT 612 Innovation Management Spring 2010 Case AnalysisBy:Name: Al-Motaz Bellah Alaa ElDin Al-AgamawiID: 102027
  2. 2. domain name case is very interesting and it includes many point of views anddifferent argument. In this paper, we are going to state the facts from each party point of viewincluding Nissan computer and Nissan Motors, in addition to general public point of view,lawyer’s point of view an Internet Analysis for will be included and finally ourconclusion.This case in between first party, Mr. Uzi Nissan, founder and president of Nissan ComputersCorp, which is in cooperated in state of North Carolina since May 19911. Second Party is NissanMotors2 a well know automotive industry leader since the early 20th century. The main issue andargument between the two parties is the right of owning and using domainname. Mr. Uzi Nissan claim is based on that Nissan is his family name and he is using it as hisbusiness brand since mid 70s and on the other hand, Nissan motors is claiming that Nissan is itsown brand name and the usage of Mr. Uzi for the domain name is risking their brand reputationand affecting the company. We will illustrate the case during the coming couple of lines, throughillustrating the case facts, then the opinion of all stakeholders.The case started in December 1999, when Nissan Motors started a legal action by asking for 10Million USD in return for the damage caused by usage of Mr. Uzi Nissan for the domain and The case has gone through different court stages from 1999 and until2008. In December 2002, the court give Nissan Computer (Mr. Uzi Nissan) to use and keep and Nissan.Net domain names but with some usage restrictions including,advertisement restriction on the domain names especially for advertisements related toautomotive industry, a clear restriction of any negative comments about Nissan Motors on thedomain names or even linking to sites having negative issues, clearly noting in the domain namessites that there is no relation with Nissan Motors. Mr. Uzi and his councilors did not agree withthe court decision and they believe that it is against normal American citizen constitutional rightsand they appeal. Both parties stay in different courts, with different decision until September2007 when the court issues a final decision stating that, Nissan Computer did not Dilute NMCsmark and have the complete rights to use the domain name, also denied NMCs requests for1 Source: Source:
  3. 3. Permanent Injunctions, In February 2008 the court final judgment was Nissan Motor is NOTentitled to attorneys fees.From Mr. Uzi Nissan his argument3 is that Nissan is his family name and it is his natural right touse it as he wants. Since 1976 and just after he went to the US, he started to use his family nameas his business brand in more than one company. In addition, he claims that at that time NissanMotors was operating under the DATSUN brand name. He also claims that when he starts in the80s using the Nissan name in his business, this was not because of the reputation of NissanMotors, which he claims that at this time, it was none as DATSUN but he did this because it ishis family name. In addition, he claims that Nissan Computer was incorporated in 1991 and theybought the domain name in 1994 and then in 1996 he bought the other side, Nissan Motors claim the following4. Nissan Motors claims that it first registersthe Nissan trademark in 1959 for ships and vehicles products. Vehicles were sold under the nameof DATSUN until 1983 and they market the vehicles under the two names Nissan and DATSUNuntil 1985 then they used the Nissan brand only from that time. In July 1995, Nissan Motors senta clear letter expressing concerns about the usage of Nissan Computer for the Nissan brand.Nissan computer did not respond until a direct communication from Nissan Motors to Mr. Uzi in1999. In October 1999, Nissan Motors proposed a purchase offer to Mr. Uzi domain name but unfortunately, they did not reach a deal. In addition, Nissan Motorsclaims that Nissan Computers are benefiting from including many advertisements related toautomotives and specially Nissan Motors competitive on the website and that this is a trademarkdilution and miss use.3 Source: Source:
  4. 4. As an analysis for the and onlinevisitors traffic. We can found that since August 1999Nissan Computers have started aggressive advertisementmarketing on the website through registration with otherspecialized website banners advertisement companies.Started with banners and links to, Barnes &Noble,, and Automobile-related ads appeared in late September. Within several Figure 1 Top Search Queries Driving Traffic to Nissan.comweeks Nissan Computer signed up,,,,,,,,, and; by December,,,,,,, and many other. Also after referring toalexa5 website analysis service in June 2010 we found that is ranked as 25,738 in the US, also we noticed that most search queries generating traffic to is from Internet users searching for Nissan representing 38%, 29% and Nissan USA 8.5% which means that most of the users about 75% are directed to owned by Nissan Computer are searching for Nissan Motors. Also when we analyzed the downstream, which is the what site users are visiting just after leaving, we found 24% goes to nissanusa, 2.9% and also 10.4% to which included the story of Nissan Computer andNissan Motors. So even this proof that the majority of users who visited wasoriginally searching for Nissan motors and most of them visits which by all means allaffecting the consumers perspective about Nissan Motors after reading Mr. Uzi point of view.After analysis people opinion published by Mr. Uzi6on the people opinion, whichincludes more than 10,000 messages, sent to Mr. Uzi about this issue. It is clear that there aremany people are convinced with Mr. Uzi right to use his family name as his business brand. Also5, is an online specialized service to analyze online website traffic and users, www.alexa.com6 Source;
  5. 5. many people believes that large corporate are miss using their rights and that it is not fair tomake Mr. Uzi pay such amount of money in courts. Especially that Mr. Uzi is claiming7 that inMarch 2008, Nissan Motors attempted to have a federal trademark registration for computers andcomputer referrals and that Nissan Motors are doing that because they are preparing anothercourt action against Nissan Computers. Mr. Uzi is even asking users to take stand, either throughdonation, display banner on their website or doing other actionable things.As a conclusion, this case is very critical due to many parameters. First, it is the natural right forany person to use his family name, which reflects reputation, goodwill and many other things ashis business brand. Second the court and justice system is afraid of having a judgment in which itcould be used in other cases against the normal right to people of using their family names astheir brands. Thirdly and on the other side, it is clear that Nissan Motors brand and marketreputation is affected through the usage of Mr. Uzi. Four, the usage of well-known brands asNissan Motors by different non-trademark owner have many negative effects on the originaltrade market owner. Finally it worth mentioning that Mr. Uzi is benefiting from this case,especially through the advertisements which have not been directed to his website if using adifferent domain name, so he has a direct profit based on Nissan Motors reputations and brand.7 Source: