November 25, 2005

To catch up

Of note:
  • While a French political party buys "hot" keywords (they are linked to riots) for its promotion, keyword prices continue steady climb.
  • In Germany, there was a dispute between the respective owners of and gü (means "cheap"). The first one also wanted to have its name written with an umlaut. The Regional Court of Frankenthal (LG Frankenthal, Decision of September 29, 2005) refused to order the transfer of the domain because it found the word to be a generic term without an independent or distinguishable character.
  • On November 3, 2005, a court in Hamburg forbade the use of for online betting, since this is a protected trademark of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association
  • In China, Cinet, owner of the domain names and, sued L`Oreal, the owner of a "Matrix" trade mark, for infringement of its rights in the domain name. The Beijing No.1 Intermediate People's Court rejected the claim. This followed a complaint filed by L'Oreal with the Domain Name Dispute Resolution Centre (DNDRC) of the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC), from which L'Oreal obtained transfer of the names. Are the Wachowsky brothers happy with this ruling? ;-)
  • UK: The dispute is over. "Nominet has said that Cohen's company has formally abandonned all attempts to regain the domain name," the IPKat reports.
  • France: An important decision was issued in the Esso v. Greenpeace case (Paris court of Appeals, Nov. 16, 2005). Greenpeace used Esso's trademarks to criticize the environment policy of the firm, and defaced its logo (using, for example, E$$O). To the court, this cannot be an infringement: Such a use was consistent with Freedom of expression, and could not be deemed a disparagement of the trademark.
  • On "sucks" name, see also this new article: Free speech and "sucking" : When is the use of trademark in a domain name fair ?, W. Scott Creasman, The Trademark Reporter vol 95, n° 5, sept.-oct. 2005 p. 1034.

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