Case Studies

Trademark/Copyright

Keeping Sovereign master of its domain

Cybersquatting, the practice of registering Internet domain names intended to mislead or misdirect web users, is a growing problem for brand owners. When Sovereign Bank was threatened by two such domain names—sovereignbank.us and sovereignbanksucks.us—they turned to L&A. We worked with Sovereign to file a proceeding under the Uniform Domain Name Resolution Policy (UDRP), arguing that the domain names are identical or confusingly similar; that the registrant has no rights or legitimate interests in the domain names; and that the domain names were registered and used in bad faith. A panel of the National Arbitration Forum found that the website operated under the two domain names in question sought to divert Internet users to the registrant’s website, to cast aspersions on Sovereign Bank, and to disrupt the Bank’s business. The panel concluded that the domain names had been registered and used in bad faith, in violation of the usTLD Resolution Policy, and it ordered that ownership of the domain names be transferred to Sovereign Bank. Through this favorable outcome, L&A helped protect Sovereign Bank’s well-known trademark from bad-faith use, confusion and dilution on the Web.

 

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