Volo Car Museum Nets A Win In Volvo Web Fight

from the domain-name-non-squatting dept

A few months back we had the news about the domain name fight between the Volo, Illinois based Volo Auto Museum (which is a museum of “antique, classic, and muscle cars”) and Volvo (the big automaker) over the domain name VoloCars.com since Volvo uses VolvoCars.com for their domain. I had pretty forgotten about the whole thing until someone from Volvo contacted me earlier this week to give me his side of the story. I was a bit surprised that (a) he tracked me down and (b) that a story from a few months ago mattered so much to them. I spoke to him this morning, and he says that he went out to the Volo Auto Museum (which he claims is “pretty cool”) and talked with them. At first, he claims, the museum wanted to sell Volvo the domain, for a price that Volvo considered to be too high. Then, the two sides actually came to an agreement to let the museum keep the domain name – with some sort of assurance that they wouldn’t turn around and sell it to another carmaker or use it to advertise cars that compete with Volvo. The next day, he says, the folks from the Auto Museum suddenly changed their minds and specifically said that they were going to do their best to squeeze some publicity out of the story. The part that I’m still confused by, though, is why Volvo then went to WIPO to try to take the domain. The guy at Volvo says they did it just to get a ruling on whether or not they had a right to the domain name. As for why he was suddenly interested in talking to me? Well, it turns out that the WIPO ruling just came out and the Volo Auto Museum gets to keep the name. My guess is that there’s a bit of truth to everyone’s side of this. If you look at their press releases, it’s pretty clear the Volo Auto Museum was looking to get some free publicity out of this. At the same time, Volvo could have handled everything better and not gone to WIPO (which would have made this story a non-starter from the beginning).

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Comments on “Volo Car Museum Nets A Win In Volvo Web Fight”

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jim says:

Volo Car Museum Nets A Win In Volvo Web Fight

I think that volvo has to show they defend their trademarks, or risk loosing them, so they
had to do everything possible regardless of their real intent. This sounds like Volvo was
doing the right thing and the Car museum was doing a sleezy publicity trick on a company
with good intentions.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Volo Car Museum Nets A Win In Volvo Web Fight

If Volvo had good intentions, they would have sent a cease and desist and gone to WIPO far far earlier.

The reality is, there was concern on Volvo’s part. They didn’t realize the amount of concern they should have been showing at the start–no one in their right mind tries to reach a “friendly agreement” which does NOT protect their intellectual property by simply getting the other party to not sell to their competitors–that itself does not protect their trademark anymore than if they had ignored the issue altogether.

And if another competitor had bought the name, then Volvo had a better case of trademark infringment, given it would be a company directly in the new car market.

As to “sleezy publicity trick”, what exactly is sleezy about getting publicity if someone wants to take your domain away? What’s sleezy is that Volvo didn’t come out with this directly first, and instead want to do a little revisionist history for damage control purposes. At the very least, how stupid of them.

Note–Volvo is owned by Ford. They have easy access to tons of resources to protect look into protecting their trademarks.

dan says:

Heart broken

I have been trying to buy a Karmann-Ghia from these folks for 2 months now. The car was out for repair, when told to call back, the guy I was to call (Jay) was on vacation, I finally track him down and it’s still out for repair. After 11 calls, 3 promises to call me back, 9 weeks and a great deal of run around I learn today the car was sold. What a way to run a business. If you are ever in Volo please buycott these people. This was to be a gift for my much deserving spouse. She’s heart broken – Thanks Volo.

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