Arizona For-Profits May Now Use .org In Domain Name

abajournal: Arizona for-profits may now use .org in domain name.  The State Bar has reconsidered its prohibition on the use, according to this article:

That’s the same conclusion an Arizona ethics panel reached in reconsidering a decade-old decision, which was based on state laws prohibiting lawyers from making false statements about their services. The original opinion determined that “by identifying a private law firm with the .org suffix, the communication creates a false impression that the firm either is a nonprofit or is in some way specially affiliated with a nonprofit.”

But the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers doesn’t require businesses that use .org to be nonprofit, and local firms argued that the use of the suffix has become widespread to the point of dilution. In its latest opinion, the State Bar of Arizona agreed that consumers were smart enough to know the difference. “The possibility that the public will be misled by a for-profit law firm’s use of .org in its website address is remote,” the ethics panel concluded.

Do Fraudulent Transfer Laws Apply To Domain Names?

Wealth Strategies Journal: Trademarks have always been an important corporate asset, but these days they can be much more so when they are also internet domain names that attract and direct customers to websites where products are sold. Thus, it follows that a business in distress or in a dispute will naturally try to protect this intellectual property from potential creditors and adverse claimants.

Such were the events in the instant cybersquatting case that primarily involved the trademark “igrip” and related webnames. This and similar trademarks were owned by a German company that was well known under this name for making cell phone holders and like accessories.
 
The primary debtor, Global Intellectual Brands LLC, sold the German company’s cell phone holders but later defaulted on its financial obligations to the German company, whereupon the German company sued Global Intellectual Brands LLC. So far, so bland.

Gripe Site Prevails in Domain Cybersquatting Case

Jacqui Cheng of Law & Disorder reports on the results of cybersquatting case where the defendant prevailed because it was a website that was critical of the trademark owner.  The article begins:

“A gripe site that incorporates a company’s entire trademark into its domain is still protected under the First Amendment, a US District Judge has ruled. In the case of Career Agents Network v. careeragentsnetwork.biz, the judge said that the gripe site made no effort to bolster its own business and was noncommercial, therefore protecting it from Career Agents Network’s trademark claims and cybersquatting accusations.”

See the federal district court opinion.

How to Lose a Cybersqatting Case against a Serial Cybersquatter

Digital Media Lawyer Blog:  “It seems unthinkable.  How can a business that has registered and used a trademark for a decade lose an ACPA case against a serial cybersquatter who has been adjudicated to have used the mark at issue in bad faith?  The fact is that it can and does happen.  When a plaintiff sues under the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, it must prove that it owns a valid trademark. 15 U.S.C. § 1125(d).  This means that an ACPA suit puts the validity of the plaintiff’s trademark at issue. And if the defendant chooses to put up a fight, the end result of an ACPA suit can be that the plaintiff’s trade name loses protection as a trademark.  This was the result in American Blind. It also may be the result in Lahoti v. Vericheck.”

Court Applies Calder Effects Test in Typosquatting Case

E-Commerce Law:  “The Plaintiff, Weather Underground, Inc. (‘Weather Underground’), is a commercial weather services that indexes information provided to it by multiple weather stations and generates revenue from subscriptions and advertisements.   The primary Defendant, Navigation Catalyst Systems, Inc. (‘NCS’), is a domain name holding company which acquires generic and descriptive domain names in bulk.   After registering domain names through a subsidiary, who was a also a Defendant, NCS submitted the domain names to another subsidiary and Defendant which created automatically-generated Web pages based on the domain name text.  These Web pages contained hyperlinks to third-party pay-per-click advertisers. Accordingly to the Complaint, the links redirected users to competitors of the Plaintiff.”

Was the Court’s Order that a Cybersquatter to Turn Over 700 Domain Names that Incorporated Names of Non-appearing Parties to a Plaintiff Proper?

Digital Media Lawyer Blog:  “In a recent ruling, a judge in the Central District of California ordered a defendant in a cybersquatting case to turn over hundreds of domain names that incorporated the names of professional athletes to the plaintiff, Toronto Raptors power forward Christopher Bosh. . . . See Bosh v. Zavala . . . . While some might laud the Court’s intentions, the order violates both the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and California law. It also creates as many problems as its solves.”