University Of Texas Discovers It Doesn't Get To Control The Words 'Texas' & 'Sports' When Used Together

from the descriptive-domains dept

Michael Scott points us to the news that the University of Texas, who has a bit of a history about claiming ridiculously overbroad intellectual property rights, has been knocked down in its attempt to take over the domain Apparently, UT already has, and claimed that whoever registered the .org violated UT trademarks and registered the name in “bad faith.” Thankfully, the UDRP panel reviewing the claim found this to be ridiculous, pointing out that you can’t have a trademark on a descriptive term, and “Texas sports” seems pretty damn descriptive:

“Texas sports” is geographically descriptive and not protected by trademark. The University does not have the exclusive rights to “Texas” and “Sports.” The University does not have a registered trademark for “Texas Sports.” There is no likelihood of consumer confusion.

The University did not prove “bad faith.” Again, common, geographic terms are not typically going to rise to the level of a bad faith acquisition.

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Companies: university of texas

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Comments on “University Of Texas Discovers It Doesn't Get To Control The Words 'Texas' & 'Sports' When Used Together”

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Anonymous Coward says: is one of those silly domain squatters that jumps on every opportunity at a half-decent domain and puts up a bunch of ads until everyone realizes that they meant to type “.com”; after people stop falling for it, it attempts to sell the domain for a ridiculous amount of money. Usually these sales never happen, but because domain squatters such as these usually squat on hundreds of domains at a time, they have no need to be desperate with the pricing of any single one.

I’ve seen the ridiculous lawsuits you’ve covered before about texas, and those totally hold true. It also holds true that this was not a trademark case. Registering it in bad faith, however… very possible. Just because you registered it first doesn’t mean you [should] get to keep it. It’s a deceitful domain name and a waste of an IP address.

JustMe (profile) says:

Pink Pinwheel Snowflake A/C

I am against typo squatting in all forms, especially people who squat on youth oriented domain names and then fill the pages with porn. Those folks should be sent to prison for a very long time. I am also against domain tasting because it temporarily removes domains from the pool at no cost to the taster.

I don’t necessarily disagree with your core position, but I believe that your points are incorrect.

How is the registration of deceitful and what gives any right whatsoever to the .org domain name? According to WHOIS they registered .com 13 years before the .org version was registered. If it is important enough to them to take the case to court, they should have trademarked the term and found a few bucks to register the .org domain.

The TLD construct was created because the common name address space is actually quite limited (common words in every language, usually fewer than 30 characters long, excluding nonsense characters/words). There might be more than one organization in the great state of Texas that wants to promote sports, which is what the .org TLD is supposed to be used for, and which the .com TLD is not supposed to be used for.

Your bad faith argument is off base here because you over generalized. In this case the person noticed an opportunity and is taking a gamble that the scarce resource will increase in value. In all likelihood it will fester along and cost the guy $10 a year to keep it active, but that is OK with me too.

We aren’t talking about a typosquatter registering because he knows the some people will
typo That is clearly a slimy thing to do. There is no law against it although the company would have a decent shot at getting the domain transferred to them.

We also aren’t talking about someone registering because he heard that George will be releasing a line of chef aprons called George Foreman Frills. This is also a slimy thing to do, but again, no law against it.

Finally, the .org domain is probably virtualized on a web farm so it isn’t taking an IPv4 address.

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