Friday, May 24, 2013

Ron Paul Loses Attempt to Claim RonPaul.com and RonPaul.org Domain Names

Ron Paul Loses Attempt to Claim RonPaul.com and RonPaul.org Domain Names:
As I
blogged back in February
, Ron Paul angered some of his fans by
relying on a UN-sponsored dispute resolution mechanism, the World
Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), to try to claim he
should legally own the domain names RonPaul.com and RonPaul.org,
not the people who currently did.

WIPO has now decided against Paul and for the current name
holders. Their full
decision
 on the .org challenge specifically.
The core of WIPO's reasoning:
First, Respondent [current owners] has used the Domain Name to
link it to an independent and legitimate fan site. As
Respondent puts it, expressing support and devotion to
Ron Paul’s political ideals is a legitimate
interest that does not require Complainant’s [Ron Paul]
authorization or approval. Moreover, Respondent’s
legitimate interest in the Domain Name is strong because the site
provides a place for political speech, which is
at the heart of what the United States Constitution’s First
Amendment is designed to protect. In this way,
the Panel is persuaded by Respondent’s arguments and evidence
that Respondent is making a legitimate
noncommercial or fair use of the Domain Name, without intent
for commercial gain to misleadingly divert
consumers or to tarnish any trademark at issue.
Moreover, Respondent has submitted
evidence that there are multiple, very clear disclaimers on the
website to which the Domain Name links,
indicating that the site is not Complainant’s official site. In
regards to Complainant’s arguments that the
website is actually a “pretext for commercial advantage”, the Panel
finds the website linked to the Domain Name is
primarily a noncommercial service, while the products advertised
and sold are ancillary to the site’s primary
purpose as a source of news and information about Ron Paul, and
serving as political forum.....
The website is offering goods and services
that promote Ron Paul and sells only goods that
promote Ron Paul. The site goes far to dispel any
confusion that Respondent or JNR might have a
relationship to Complainant, including use of multiple,
prominently placed disclaimers. Finally, related
to Respondent’s second main point, there is no evidence
that Respondent has attempted to corner the
market of domain names to prevent Complainant from reflecting
his alleged RON PAUL mark in a domain name. To
the contrary, the evidence indicates that in
2013 Respondent offered to give Complainant the
<ronpaul.org> Domain Name for free.  
My book on Ron Paul and his fans,
Ron Paul's Revolution: The Man and the Movement He
Inspired
.