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[wg-b] Re: Reverse hijacking by the big guy against the small businessperson.

Title: [wg-b] Re: Reverse hijacking by the big guy against the small businessperson.

Dear Bob,

I agree completely with Francis.  The UDRP was not intended to be a shield against law suits.  Furthermore, a recent decision by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois stated that the court was not bound by a UDRP proceeding.

Law suits and threats of law suits have always been a detriment to small businesses, regardless of the field of industry or commerce.  They are often unforeseen and very expensive.  However, there is very little the SBA can do in this regard, because the right to bring a civil suit is fundamental to U.S. law.

The best suggestion I can make is to try to get the law suit dismissed on summary judgment, if possible.  If the opposing party continues to make baseless claims against your friend, he or she may have a claim against them for filing frivolous law suits.

I know that is probably not what you wanted to hear, but Congress has dubbed the courts to settle trademark disputes and that is the remedy that is available.


-----Original Message-----
From: Robert F. Connelly [mailto:rconnell@psi-japan.com]
Sent: Thursday, May 25, 2000 5:43 PM
To: James Love; terry.bibbens@sba.gov; Eric.Menge@sba.gov
Subject: In case you did not see my posting to wg-b

I'm writing today with respect to a clear case of attempted reverse
hijacking.  My friend has been operating since 1984 using a trademark
consisting of a descriptive word followed by "Group".  His .com domain was
issued in February of 1996.

He has found other uses of his descriptive term combined with a third
descriptive term by a company operating since 1851.

Now another firm using the descriptive term is suing him for US$10^6 and
wants something like 10^6 in compensation even if he transfers the domain
to the plaintiff.  Said firm holds the descriptive term + .com.

I believe the UDRP would find:

1. The domain is not confusingly similar.
2. The defendant (in this suit) has long standing legitimate interests in
respect to the domain name.
3. The deferent did not register and/or use it in bad faith.

It is clear case of a multi billion dollar company with a weak descriptive
TM trying to bulldoze a small business person into submission.  (SBA, are
you listening?)

What can he do?  Can he initiate a UDRP administrative dispute request?

Personal regards, BobC