Dealers and resellers can use a manufacturer's trademark as a domain name even when their sales are not authorised by the manufacturer, an arbitration panel has ruled. Pressure gauge maker ITT failed in its claim for the domain name ITTbarton.com and 12 other domain names owned by a seller of ITT pressure gauges, Douglas Nicoll …
Wow, a common sense ruling!
At first I thought that WIPO had once again made a very stupid and erroneous ruling, but after reading this article and reading up on the case itself, this was a very wise decision. The trademark holder is not losing their trademark here, nor are they losing a domain that they were using. I would have to agree that this is a legitimate and non-infringing usage of a trademark name.
Wow, seems to be a fair veredict.
I expected this to be another "big company screws little guy" veredict, like the ones WIPO has pulled in the past, but seems to be fair.
I guess it never occurred to ITT that the sites in question were helping to line their pockets. Morons, just morons. The Peter Principle in full force
Bad decision, not the same
This is a very bad decision. In the case of "okidataparts.com", the trademark name was used in conjunction with a generic term, the end result being a generic term -- "Oki Data Parts". The name does not imply that Oki Data operates or authorizes the site in question. In this case, however, "ITT Barton" was the name of the company making the products (the name of the company was then changed to "Barton Instrument Systems LLC", and they've since been acquired by another company). They may have had a trademark on "ITT" only, but "ITT Barton" was the name of the company. As such, this reseller's domain "ittbarton.com" is very likely to be assumed by purchasers to be the official and/or authorized domain for the company's products.
If the reseller had called his domain "ittsurplus.com", "ittbartonsurplus.com", or something similar, then it would be acceptable. But to use the defunct company's name as your domain name is not something that should be allowed.
Here's a question for the "good decision / common sense" commenters -- do you think it would be acceptable for a person to purchase surplus Digital Equipment Corp (DEC) computers, then register the dec.com domain name to resell those DEC computers (yes, I know HP controls the domain name, but assume for the purpose of this hypothetical question that they didn't)?
re: the issue is that in this way...
But if you're selling their products, how are you misleading the customer? That, after all, is the REASON for trademarks: so that you don't buy a Sorny PS3 by mistake, not so that Sony can make more money from the trademark.
Try registering the domain www.sonydvds.com
OK, try registering the domain www.sonydvds.com to sell second hand DVDs and see how many milli seconds it takes to receive a nastygram from Sony!!!
Try www.levijeansforsale.com Bet that gets a response!!! Levi sued Tesco (or was it Asda, can't remember now) a while back for selling imported Levi jeans. The used trade mark law to stop it.
If they used the name ITT and were selling ITT products then they are obviously passing off as.
One person said "I guess it never occurred to ITT that the sites in question were helping to line their pockets. Morons, just morons. The Peter Principle in full force"
I think you need to re-read the article. The web site was selling surplus product, so was definately taking away from sales. Additionally, it would also generate an abundance of support and warranty issues. This is one big reason why many manufacturers have authorized dealers.