A Moron In A Hurry

October 17, 2006

Boycotts v. Sucks

Filed under: Uncategorized — nick @ 5:06 pm

WIPO has decided that the site Boycottwalmart.com is not confusingly similar to Walmart.com and thus rejected Walmart’s bid to kill the site.  The WIPO panel said:

The Complainant has argued that formulating a domain name by adding a derogatory term to a trade mark always results in a domain name that must be seen as confusingly similar to the trade mark… A domain name which combines a disparaging or critical term with a trademark may well be confusingly similar to the trademark, but not always. This panel considers that confusing similarity will be established where those persons who are mostly likely to want to access a complainant’s website will be confused as to whether the complainant is the owner and operator of the website to which the disputed domain name resolves.

For those keeping score at home, that means that adding ‘boycott’ to a recognized URL is ok, but adding ‘sucks’ may not be, highlighting the problem of arbitration where panels are not bound to follow precendent.  Techdirt has a good look at this.

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