domain name disputes

Podcast: Entertainment Law Update Episode 13

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Lucky Episode 13 of the Entertainment Law Update Podcast with hosts  Los Angeles based film lawyer Gordon P. Firemark and Texas based music lawyer Tamera H. Bennett is available here. Gordon and I had a lot of fun this month discussing multiple topics including:

Justin Bieber's Twitter "prank" Judge Gertner's recent opinion in Sony v. Tenenbaum Child labor laws and the production of "Kate Plus 8" Fleeting Expletives Don Johnson/Alan Ladd, Jr./Celedor -- Profit Participation Wins

Take a listen to stay up-to-date on film law, music law, copyright law and trademark law.

Texassports.org: University of Texas Lost Bad Faith UDRP Action

The University of Texas was unsuccessful in a bad faith domain name action to acquire www.texassports.org. The University is the owner of www.texassports.com and registered trademarks for:  TEXAS, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS, TEXAS LONGHORNS, and LONGHORNS.  In particular, TEXAS is registered for "Entertainment services, namely, providing college athletic and sporting events."

In the UDRP action, the University asserted www.texassports.org was registered in bad faith, that the registrant had no legitimate rights to the name, and the use of the domain may cause confusion with the University's www.texassports.com domain.  The domain www.texassports.org was used as  "parking" website for information related to University of Texas sports and sporting events.

To be successful the University needed to prove:

the domain name registered by the Respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights;

the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and

the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

The UDRP panel found www.texassports.org defense persuasive:

"Texas sports" is geographically descriptive and not protected by trademark.  The University does not have the exclusive rights to "Texas" and "Sports."  The University does not have a registered trademark for "Texas Sports."  There is no likelihood of consumer confusion.

The University did not prove "bad faith."  Again, common, geographic terms are not typically going to rise to the level of a bad faith acquisition.

More about the UDRP decision may be found here.

Entertainment Law Update Podcast Episode 12 Now Available

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In the latest episode of the Entertainment Law Update podcast, Tamera H. Bennett and Gordon Firemark explore:

  • Follow ups on Hot News
  • Viacom loses suit against YouTube.
  • Hurt Locker Suit(s)
  • Idea Theft
  • Tribute Band Names
  • Celebrity Rights of publicity

To listen to the podcast, click here.