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 texassports.org. Apparently, UT already has texassports.com, 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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Filed Under: domain names, sports, texas, trademark
Companies: university of texas


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Jul 2010 @ 2:22am

    texassports.org 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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Jul 2010 @ 4:34am

    Perhaps...

    They should also try to sue any web site with the words idiot or moron in them. They'd probably have better luck with that.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    JustMe (profile), 28 Jul 2010 @ 5:22am

    Re: 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 TexasSports.org deceitful and what gives TexasSports.com 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 GigleCars.com because he knows the some people will
    typo GiggleCars.com. 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 GeorgeForemanFrills.com 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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Jul 2010 @ 9:24pm

      Re: Re: Pink Pinwheel Snowflake A/C

      Original Post here, and I honestly hadn't thought of it like that, good point.

      And this is why I enjoy the internet for debate over speaking to a physical persona, people aren't afraid to tell you you're wrong to some extent.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    TAMPuppet, 28 Jul 2010 @ 6:47am

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

    but Mike, what about the moron in a hurry scenario? and you know I can be a moron at times, what about when I'm in a hurry. It's not fair for people like me when I get confused.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    darryl, 28 Jul 2010 @ 7:42am

    why would you want it :)

    maybe they could change it to

    tex-ass-ports.fit

    Just an idea, (who ever said all idea's were good?)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ol Sport, 28 Jul 2010 @ 9:24am

    More on Texas Morons

    Ever get the feeling the much/most of so-called "higher" education consists of providing a forum for a feeding frenzy for cunning linguists? A haven for fast talking, slow thinking, bully boys (and girls) with MBAs and suspenders...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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