Published by LawTechie - September 28, 2011 - LawTechie

New York Internet LawyerA three person panel for the National Arbitration Forum has ruled that Lady Gaga cannot take the domain away from one of her fans.

Pursuant to ICANN’s Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy, in order to take a domain away from a registrant via arbitration, the Complainant must prove that:

(1)  the domain name registered by Respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights; and

(2)  Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and

(3)  the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

In this case, the panel found that while and Lady Gara are certainly identical or confusingly similar, Lady Gaga has failed to show that the fan had no legitimate interests in the domain. Specifically, the fan was running the site for (arguably) Lady Gaga’s benefit (e.g., promoting her tours, etc…), and was not attempting to make money off the Lady Gaga brand in competition with Lady Gaga. Additionally, and highly relevant, the site disclaimed any association with or endorsement byLady Gaga.

LawTechie is a blog focusing on trends in tech and digital media. Areas covered include intellectual property, cyberlaw, venture capital, transactions and litigation as they relate to the emerging sectors. The blog is edited by the firm's partner Tim Bukher with contributions from the firm's experts in their respective areas of law.


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