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Username: DaveKing2
Date/Time: Fri, October 19, 2001 at 11:59 PM GMT
Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer V5.5 using Windows NT 5.0
Subject: answers

Message:
 

 
>With respect to geographical place names, am I allowed to make a
> site about a city on the other side of the world?

The Jury's still out on that one really. Probably the most defining case will be Barcelona.com which is currently before the courts and will be decided upon soon; the city of Barcelona is claiming rights to the name registered by a couple in 1996.

More info here: http://www.newsbytes.com/news/01/170366.html

> If I put a 'for sale' sign on the domain does this destroy any
> claim of legitimate interest?

It's advisable not to if you're on shaky legal ground. The WIPO generally favors respondents who actually use the name for a legitimate purpose. The challenger could use your 'for sale' intentions as evidence of bad faith.

> Can I protect my domain by registering a trade mark after getting
> the domain?
     
After-the-fact registration has been shown to be insufficient to claim rights to a domain name. WIPO (at least) will look at the original registration date and the dates of trademark usage. Other factors that may be taken into account include usage (albeit non-registration of a name), its popularity (how well known it is), and whether the other party would have reasonably heard of the name as a business entity prior to registration. Sometimes a trademark that is registered but not actively used may not give the holder rights to a name.

Other evidence that can be used include what other names a party has registered at the same time, including the intentions of other names registered. Generic names and place names have historically been difficult to challenge, but there have been cases where someone's domain record actually had "This Domain is For Sale" (or similar) in it and this was successfully used as proof of bad faith.

Hope this helps.

Cheers,
Dave

 


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