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Domain Name Law Essentials Clarke Douglas Walton Walton Internet Law
Our Roadmap Popular Legal Remedies (UDRP & ACPA) Case Study 5 Minute Trademark Law Essential Tips
Resolving Domain Disputes UDRP Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (1999) Binding arbitration Less formal rules No hearing  ACPA Anti-cybersquatting Consumer Protect Act (1999) Federal court Very formal rules about procedure and evidence Live court hearings required Two Ways to Resolve Domain Name Disputes
Resolving Domain Disputes Benefits and Costs UDRP Benefits: Fast (decision in 60 days) Works against international registrants Fixed Costs Filing fee: less than $1,500 Attorney fees: $3,000 to $5,000 Downside: Only remedy is transfer of domain name Can’t recover damages Can’t recover costs or attorney’s fees ACPA Benefits: Get domain name transferred Recover damages (up to $100,000 per domain name) Recover court costs and attorney fees Get emergency relief (restraining order, injunction) Downside: Difficult to estimate costs Slow process (3-6 months is minimum, can take years)

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This case summary describes a trademark infringement lawsuit between Punchclock.com and Punch-clock.com over similar domain names for timekeeping software. Punchclock.com sued their Canadian competitor Punch-clock.com for cybersquatting and unfair competition after sending a cease and desist letter. The Canadian company defaulted, and the court ruled in favor of Punchclock.com, transferring the domain name to them and awarding $1 million in damages for corrective advertising. The summary cautions plaintiffs to look for issues with competitors' sites if not ranking highly and for defendants to find experts to challenge claims of harm.

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This document provides definitions for many of the key terms used in domain name dispute resolution. It explains concepts like the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), registrants, registries, panelists, complaints, responses, determinations, and more. The goal is to help navigate the specialized language of the domain name dispute process by defining important lingo and acronyms. It directs readers to an online library for additional information on cybersquatting and domain name legal issues.

ICANN & UDRP Update 2009
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Presented to Practicing Law Institute -- Advanced Seminar on Trademark Law. New York City, May 1, 2009.

Case Study Brett’s instructions: “ Clarke - you have unique first hand experiences with this topic as a domainer. I would like to see you use a case study to prop up your central theme.”
Pubcon.com Pubcon.com domain name registered September 22, 2003
Trademark Strength Trademark = Source identifier Not All Trademarks Are Created Equally 5 Levels of Trademark Strength Fanciful  (very strong) Arbitrary  (very strong) Suggestive  (strong) Descriptive  (weak) Generic  (no strength at all)
Internet Examples Fanciful (very strong) Zillow, Expedia Arbitrary (very strong) Kayak, Amazon Suggestive (strong) Youtube, Moviebuff, Gamespot, SeatGuru Descriptive (weak) The Internet Movie Database, HomeLoanCenter Generic (no strength at all) Hotels.com, Lawyers.com

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The document discusses gripe sites and the options available to trademark owners dealing with them. It summarizes the goals of the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) process for resolving domain name disputes and the three elements that must be established. It also outlines strategies for gripe site owners to establish legitimate interests and avoid claims of bad faith, as well as best practices for trademark owners in responding to gripe sites.

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Who Has Priority? Date of first TM use in commerce determines priority (in U.S.) Not date of TM filing  Not date of TM registration
Pubcon.com Trademark Filed March 16, 2004 Registered September 27, 2005 First Use: June 30, 2001 Common law rights began
Pubcon.com: Brett vs Clarke Who wins? Pubcon.com strength? Probably suggestive Priority? Domain name registered by Clarke September 23, 2003 Brett’s First Use: June 30, 2001 Bad Faith? Depends
Content on Domain Matters Suppose you register Venetian.com “ Venetian” for casino services is arbitrary, so it’s strong. “ Venetian” for Venice, Italy is generic (geographically descriptive) Publish content about Vegas casinos?  You’re in trouble.  Publish content about Venice, Italy? You’re probably fine.

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You Can Have Your Own Top Level Domain “for a small fee….”
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The basis of business on the internet is your domain name. Buying, selling, defending, procuring and maximizing domain names is key aspect of any affiliate marketer. Experience level: Intermediate Target audience: Affiliates/Publishers Niche/vertical: Domains Gary Kibel, Partner, Davis & Gilbert LLP (Twitter @GaryKibel_law) (Moderator) Sara Freixa, Brand Protection Manager, Americas, Melbourne IT DBS Inc Peter Marinello, Director, Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program

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Domain Name Law Essentials UDRP vs ACPA Not all TMs created equally Priority is key (date of first use in USA) Content affects rights Be careful about content on your parked pages
THANKS! QUESTIONS? Clarke Douglas Walton [email_address] Google: “Website Lawyer”

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domain_names_and_trademarks_legal_issues-clarke_walton.ppt

  • 1. Domain Name Law Essentials Clarke Douglas Walton Walton Internet Law
  • 2. Our Roadmap Popular Legal Remedies (UDRP & ACPA) Case Study 5 Minute Trademark Law Essential Tips
  • 3. Resolving Domain Disputes UDRP Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (1999) Binding arbitration Less formal rules No hearing ACPA Anti-cybersquatting Consumer Protect Act (1999) Federal court Very formal rules about procedure and evidence Live court hearings required Two Ways to Resolve Domain Name Disputes
  • 4. Resolving Domain Disputes Benefits and Costs UDRP Benefits: Fast (decision in 60 days) Works against international registrants Fixed Costs Filing fee: less than $1,500 Attorney fees: $3,000 to $5,000 Downside: Only remedy is transfer of domain name Can’t recover damages Can’t recover costs or attorney’s fees ACPA Benefits: Get domain name transferred Recover damages (up to $100,000 per domain name) Recover court costs and attorney fees Get emergency relief (restraining order, injunction) Downside: Difficult to estimate costs Slow process (3-6 months is minimum, can take years)
  • 5. Case Study Brett’s instructions: “ Clarke - you have unique first hand experiences with this topic as a domainer. I would like to see you use a case study to prop up your central theme.”
  • 6. Pubcon.com Pubcon.com domain name registered September 22, 2003
  • 7. Trademark Strength Trademark = Source identifier Not All Trademarks Are Created Equally 5 Levels of Trademark Strength Fanciful (very strong) Arbitrary (very strong) Suggestive (strong) Descriptive (weak) Generic (no strength at all)
  • 8. Internet Examples Fanciful (very strong) Zillow, Expedia Arbitrary (very strong) Kayak, Amazon Suggestive (strong) Youtube, Moviebuff, Gamespot, SeatGuru Descriptive (weak) The Internet Movie Database, HomeLoanCenter Generic (no strength at all) Hotels.com, Lawyers.com
  • 9. Who Has Priority? Date of first TM use in commerce determines priority (in U.S.) Not date of TM filing Not date of TM registration
  • 10. Pubcon.com Trademark Filed March 16, 2004 Registered September 27, 2005 First Use: June 30, 2001 Common law rights began
  • 11. Pubcon.com: Brett vs Clarke Who wins? Pubcon.com strength? Probably suggestive Priority? Domain name registered by Clarke September 23, 2003 Brett’s First Use: June 30, 2001 Bad Faith? Depends
  • 12. Content on Domain Matters Suppose you register Venetian.com “ Venetian” for casino services is arbitrary, so it’s strong. “ Venetian” for Venice, Italy is generic (geographically descriptive) Publish content about Vegas casinos? You’re in trouble. Publish content about Venice, Italy? You’re probably fine.
  • 13. Domain Name Law Essentials UDRP vs ACPA Not all TMs created equally Priority is key (date of first use in USA) Content affects rights Be careful about content on your parked pages
  • 14. THANKS! QUESTIONS? Clarke Douglas Walton [email_address] Google: “Website Lawyer”