Facebook has wrestled control of the web address face-book.com away from an Isle of Man-based firm that operates it as a revenue-raising link dump. Manx outfit YOLAPT registered the domain on 3 October 2004, several months after Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg launched thefacebook.com, but while it was still only available to a …
The time lines are interesting here. The judge was not pointing out that he didn't know what facebook was or how famous it was, he appeared to be pointing at the fact that very few poeple on the planet would have heard of it at the point the www.face-book.com was registered. That was only months after thefacebook website was launched and at the time is was only for students at Harvard.
The registration would have been quite clearly in bad faith if it had been made 12 months later for example, by which time most schools and colleges in the US and UK were participants.
From the WIPO decision:
...the Panel is convinced on balance that the disputed domain name was registered by the Respondent with actual knowledge of the Complainant’s website at “www.facebook.com”
Now they didn't actually own that domain name until August 2005 according to the wikipedia entry which does remove some of the weight behind the panel's decision. However it is very similar to 'thefacebook'
I'd guess that the original registrant might have been watching the trademarks being applied for or granted and working off that for domain names to speculate / troll on.
BTW. I'm posting anonymously as I really ought to be doing more work ;)
Your not posting anon, it says your name.... oopps!!
/me gets coat, hat, taxi...
I'll pick up the taxi fare, that was a nice one.
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