Continuing Confusion Over Sucks Sites

from the pendulum-swings... dept

It seems that arbitrators and courts can’t come to any kind of agreement on the legality of so-called “sucks sites.” These are sites that take a well known corporate brand and add “sucks.com” to the end. Usually, they’re from disgruntled customers who want to make their complaints known. The question, usually, is whether or not these are somehow trademark infringement — but the only way that would be true is if someone didn’t understand the word “sucks.” Earlier this year, there was a great decision in one case where the judge pointed out that no one would ever be confused by the sucks site in question, and therefore, there could be no trademark infringement. However, in the latest such case, it appears that WIPO arbitrators decided that people might not really know what sucks means, and therefore have awarded AirFranceSucks.com to Air France. What’s even stranger about this case, is apparently Air France didn’t have a problem with the site for the first five or six years of its existence. It only just now decided that it was a victim of trademark infringement and cybersquatting.


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