Mar 10 2008
Fox News loses domain name fight
By Ryan | Posted in News.

Fox LostOn February 8, 2007, the Fox News Network announced that it was launching a business news channel. Later that day, a company by the name of Worldwide Directory Services registered the domain name foxbusinessnetwork.com. Fox news was unable to gain control of the domain because they did not register a trademark for the term until July 16, 2007.

Fox News, the cable television news channel of Rupert Murdoch-controlled News Corporation, announced its intention to launch a business news channel on 8 February 2007.

On that same day Worldwide Directory Services (WDS) registered the domain name foxbusinessnetwork.com. But because Fox News did not register any trade marks for the term ‘Fox business network’ until 16th July that year it was not entitled to force the handover of the address.

The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) arbitrates in many disputes over domain names and can order their transfer if three conditions are met. The name must be identical or confusingly similar to a trade or service mark held by the person who wants to gain control of it, the person holding the domain name must have no rights in it, and the domain name must be registered and used in bad faith.

All three of these conditions must be met if a name is to be transferred, and Fox failed to meet the second.

Source

I think that at least nine times out of ten, the Complainant would win a case like this, but the real lesson here is that you should always purchase your domain names, and then announce your new service. This is a mistake that keeps repeating itself in the corporate world.

The complete ruling: Fox News Network, LLC v. Domains by Proxy, Inc. / Worldwide Directory Services

2 Responses

  1. Sammy Ashouri Says:

    “always purchase your domain names, and then announce your new service. ”

    Amen to that!

  2. Ryan Says:

    Sammy, thanks for your comments. It seems obvious to us, but as you probably know this was a lesson missed by Wii, iPhone, Zune, and countless other products and services. More on that later…

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