More Righthaven IP Up For Auction, Including The Name Righthaven

from the sports-and-porn dept

When one of the many judges smacking down Righthaven ordered that the company’s intellectual property be auctioned off, we wondered just what that would actually include, since it’s not clear whether Righthaven really owns any copyrights, or any intellectual property beyond its own trademarks. The righthaven.com domain name was the first item sold, and now Lara Pearson points us to the news that another selection of Righthaven IP is now up for sale on eBay.

The list itself is pretty amusing, apparently comprised of two porn movies and a selection of newspaper articles about sports (presumably from the Las Vegas Review Journal). Of course, as we noted originally, even though these copyrights are registered in Righthaven’s name, it’s likely that they aren’t actually valid or enforceable, since the whole crux of the Righthaven saga is that many of the rights transfers to the company were shams, so the original copyright holders still control the works. Buying one of these registrations at auction is a way to own a piece of copyright trolling history, but it’s probably not going to make you the legal owner of Ebony Amateurs Vegas Edition #10.

Also up for auction is the trademark on the name Righthaven itself. When righthaven.com sold, it was turned into a service offering “hosting with a backbone” in a somewhat ironic use of the domain. I suspect we’ll see something similar happen with the Righthaven trademark, since the company’s dismal reputation and long list of legal failures makes it a pretty unappealing brand for any purpose other than parody or satire.

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Companies: righthaven

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Comments on “More Righthaven IP Up For Auction, Including The Name Righthaven”

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11 Comments
Violated (profile) says:

Dodgy Porn

I have had a check on those two porn movies and the most interesting part is this line under the copyright registration…

Copyright Claimant: Righthaven LLC, Transfer: By written agreement. Address: 9960 West Cheyenne Avenue, Suite 210, Las Vegas, NV, 89129-7701, United States.

I have to find this auction sale somewhat funny because in all these Court to Receiver ownership transfer documents there is no copy of this original “Written Agreement” which is the one critical document in all this to know what you have actually agreed to purchase.

So without being able to review that original rights transfer then the sale is trash. You only then have some memento sale where in this recession I would be surprised to see someone fork out $100 on this crap.

GMacGuffin says:

auctions end May 3

Fun bit is a trademark cannot be baldly transferred. The listing therefore correctly notes that the transfer includes “U.S. Trademark Registration No.: 3,948,912 along with any and all goodwill associated therewith.”

Transfer of goodwill has to go with the mark. So… since almost by definition there is no Righthaven “goodwill” to transfer, would the transfer then be void?

Har.

Anonymous Coward says:

Also up for auction is the trademark on the name Righthaven itself. When righthaven.com sold, it was turned into a service offering “hosting with a backbone” in a somewhat ironic use of the domain. I suspect we’ll see something similar happen with the Righthaven trademark, since the company’s dismal reputation and long list of legal failures makes it a pretty unappealing brand for any purpose other than parody or satire.

It’s a service mark, not a trademark. If you look up the registration, the mark is for “Searching and retrieving information, sites, and other resources available on computer networks for others.”

So you have to keep in mind that the person who bought this mark only bought the right to use the mark for this kind of service. They could use the Righthaven mark for other services, but they would only have common law protections for that mark since this mark is limited to these services.

Whoever bought this just bought bragging rights, as far as I can tell. Unless they plan to use the mark for those types of services, the mark doesn’t give them any rights.

And as far as the goodwill is concerned, I think that if the assignee of this mark does use it for other services, then there’s no goodwill transferred and it’s an assignment in gross.

At least this is what I recall from my trademark law class. 🙂

Righthaven Receiver (user link) says:

Copyright auctions re-launched on eBay

Seventeen Righthaven copyrights are being auctioned off on eBay starting 8:00 a.m. PDT today and ending at approximately 8:00 p.m. PDT on Saturday May 5, 2012. This is the third auction of Righthaven property to satisfy court judgments against the Las Vegas company. The RIGHTHAVEN service mark was sold for $1025.00 in an auction that closed this morning. The auctions are being conducted by the court-appointed receiver for Righthaven, Lara Pearson, Esq., operating under the eBay seller name courtappointedreceiver. (A complete listing of the auctions has been submitted through TechDirt’s on-line submission form)

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