UDRP filed Against The Geo Domain Name Norcross.com, Owned By Marchex

According to UDRPSearch.com a UDRP has been filed against the owners of the domain name Norcross.com

Norcross is a city in Georgia whose official site is Norcrossga.net

Norcross.com is a parked page and returns results for mostly hotels and other travel links in Georgia which shouldn’t be a problem.

Norcross.com is owned by Marchex  (Nasdaq: MCHX)

The UDRP was filed on March 30, 2011 and was assigned the case number, 1437030.

The complainant is not listed as of now.

Comments

  1. BrianWick says

    We have a silver tongued US President who called out the Supreme Court at his inaugural address and just did it again over Obamacare because the Court is not “elected” – he just called out the 5th Circuit of Appeals as well.

    The point is, just because the guy does not respect (or understand) how Courts are appointed (not elected) is no different than a 3-Panel UDRP not respecting (or understanding) the obvious via their silver tongues.

    Norcross.com – in the end it is the silver tongues that are called out – but MarchEx should take nothing for granted.

  2. Elliot Silver says

    I think it would be unwise to waste taxpayer money to try and get control of a domain name that helps promote the city, its businesses, and events at no cost to the city.

    My guess would be that the UDRP was filed by one of the many companies that use Norcross in their name rather than the city in Georgia.

  3. Niner says

    Why couldn’t incorporated municipalities file a UDRP to get their city name in the .com? Take Norcross.com, Burbank.com, and Scottsdale.com for example: these domains are all held by known domainers – with the right group of panelists, these cities might be able to take their .com back from these domainers.

    A good lawyer should start a UDRP business to help cities acquire their .com’s for just legal and filing fees.

  4. Pinhead says

    The complainant is not the city in Georgia, btw, so I don’t understand the relevance of the political commentary.

    Since the complaint is not public the man in the street has no idea as to who the complainant is and thus the political commentary. Understand now or should I type slower

  5. Michael H. Berkens says

    John

    The complainant is not listed at UDRPSearch, so we have to guess at it.

    I assume your representing Marchex and you have information who the complainant is and its not the city, so then I would agree that the political comments are unnecessary.

  6. Elliot Silver says

    “A good lawyer should start a UDRP business to help cities acquire their .com’s for just legal and filing fees.”

    Well, lawyers have tried this before and have been unsuccessful in many cases. In the YorbaLinda.com UDRP, the WIPO panelist stated, “general rule that geographic names are not subject to trademark protection.” http://www.wipo.int/amc/en/domains/decisions/html/2009/d2009-1059.html

    My personal belief is that most domain owners would take a rare losing decision to federal court to overturn a losing UDRP. This of course would add more expense to all parties, and voters probably wouldn’t appreciate hearing that their city spent tens of thousands of dollars to try and wrest control of a domain name, especially when there is no guarantee the city would win and precedents that the city would likely lose.

    Here are some other geodomain cases:

    The city of Salinas, California went after CityOfSalinas.com/net/org and John Berryhill successfully defended the names on behalf of the domain registrant: http://www.adrforum.com/domains/decisions/97076.htm

    Pocatello tried it and lost: http://www.adrforum.com/domains/decisions/103186.htm
    Myrtle Beach tried it and lost: http://www.adrforum.com/domains/decisions/103367.htm
    St Moritz lost: http://www.wipo.int/amc/en/domains/decisions/html/2004/d2004-0158.html
    Barcelona tried to get Barcelona.com unsuccessfully: http://pacer.ca4.uscourts.gov/opinion.pdf/021396.P.pdf

    There are likely more cases and I would leave the legal discussion to a lawyer.

  7. BrianWick says

    A few years back Chad Wright lost Hayward.com (Hayward, California) in a UDRP (to Hayward Industries) – a year ago Chad told me they challenged it in court and they settled with a mutually happy Non Disclosure Agreement.

    10 years ago the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association went after GlenwoodSprings.com and lost that UDRP – they are a non-profit association of businesses and not the municipality.

    As a rule I think Panel now have shyed away from GEO’s – even if used “Horrifically” in a PPC forum.

  8. John Berryhill says

    You are correct, Brian. With very few oddball decisions, cities claiming geo names have not been successful. What makes the Hayward one interesting is that one, like this one, were not filed by the city in question.

    A records request made after the CityOfSalinas.com dispute indicated they spent somewhere north of $15K failing to get that domain name.

    Dearborn is another one in this category: http://domain.adrforum.com/domains/decisions/99602.htm

    The Vail and Beaver Creek dispute is an example of a situation where a private entity has a strong interest in names which are, nonetheless, geographic: http://domains.adrforum.com/domains/decisions/1106470.htm

    The category-killer case is one Ari defended: NewZealand.com http://www.wipo.int/amc/en/domains/decisions/html/2002/d2002-0754.html

  9. Ron says

    There is nothing to say a City must own their .com, I am sure they have access to other tld’s that they can use, that the general public cannot.

    I think the precedent has been set that anyone can own a random geo city, ruling the opposite way would just open the flood gates.

    @ Niner, I am not sure what makes you think every city should own their .com, just because it is the most popular top level extension, doesn’t give them the right to own it. Many like you, who have come late to the game, and are simply to lazy to roll up your sleeves, and see there are still great deals to be had out there.

  10. Pinhead says

    @ John berryhill What makes the Hayward one interesting is that one, like this one, were not filed by the city in question.

    It’s “was” not, not were not pinhead ;)

  11. Garry Epperson says

    @ niner,

    “with the right group of panelists, these cities might be able to take their .com back from these domainers.”

    What exactly do you mean by take their .com back? They never had them in the first place. You sound like one of those people who are mad at the Schwartz’s of the world because nobody told you to start in ’95.

  12. JP says

    @Garry,

    Incorporated municipalities have a legal right to TAKE their .com from squatters. I anticipate several high-profile lawsuits in the coming years and with the populist shift in the winds, these squatters will likley lose their domains. Parked pages with a few ads are not a business…

  13. BrianWick says

    @JP,
    “Incorporated municipalities have a legal right to TAKE their .com from squatters.”

    So will you be leading the charge against the Florida Times Union in taking Jacksonville.com away from them and giving it to the municipality of Jacksonville, Florida ? Can’t wait to see how that plays out :)

    Also – any person who refers to domain investing in geos, and common use and generic .com terms as “sqautting” – is a person who is afraid to be successful.

  14. bullshit says

    complete bullshit and im tired of hearing stories like this feeling they deserve the rights to geo.com domains.

    fuck those mother fuckers who are filing udrp on geo.com or any geo for that matter and location

    We need the big guys to stand up like Rick and say fuck off. If rapid udrp ever goes through and approved, thats when I will consider this is more fucking bs

    Well there goes my day in just reading this.

  15. Elliot Silver says

    Looks like the former owner of NewportNews.com won the UDRP filed by a clothing company called Newport News, http://www.disputes.org/decisions/0238.htm , but lost a follow-up lawsuit detailed here: http://www.finnegan.com/files/upload/Newsletters/Incontestable/2011/May/Incontestable_May11_3.html

    I would think that this would be akin to someone using Apple.com to sell apples or apple pies, but if they sold computers or mobile phones, they would be infringing on the tech giant’s marks.

    I found this particularly interesting in the NewportNews.com article I referenced above:

    “Between 2000 and 2004, VCV’s newportnews.com website continued to provide city information about Newport News. In 2004, however, VCV’s website began running “occasional” advertisements for women’s clothing. NNHC placed its own ads on VCV’s website in February and March 2007 to measure revenue losses attributable to the website. Later in 2007, NNHC offered to purchase newportnews.com from VCV, but VCV rejected the offer and stated that it would either sell the domain name for a “seven-figure” amount or sell NNHC’s goods on its website for a commission. Shortly thereafter, VCV shifted the focus of the newportnews.com website to one emphasizing women’s fashion, with very little information about the city of Newport News. VCV made more money on the women’s fashion website than all of its other city websites combined.

    NNHC sued for trademark infringement and cybersquatting, among other claims. VCV moved for summary judgment on all claims and NNHC moved only on its cybersquatting claim. The district court granted NNHC’s motion for summary judgment on its cybersquatting claim, finding that VCV “substantially changed the content of the website and ceased to offer bona fide services related to the city of Newport News.” It interpreted VCV’s change in its website content as “an egregious violation of the ACPA” because the UDRP proceeding clearly illustrated how VCV could use newportnews.com in a legitimate and good-faith manner to provide only city information. The district court later dismissed NNHC’s remaining claims, awarded NNHC $80,000 in ACPA statutory damages and $249,753 in attorney’s fees, and ordered transfer of newportnews.com to NNHC. VCV appealed.”

  16. rk says

    @ pinhead

    You are making a fool of yourself.

    J.B. is a well respected attorney and a great person, so refrain from your little smarty pant statements!

  17. Elliot Silver says

    @ UDRP

    LOL.

    To keep it brief, Burbamk Leader’s trademark says “NO CLAIM IS MADE TO THE EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO USE “BURBANK” APART FROM THE MARK AS SHOWN”

    I find it strange that a real attorney would hide behind anonymity.

  18. The Peeps Domains says

    These “take back” our / their geo posts above and give them to the cities is just a case of someone astroturfing for themselves or the media or for lawyers, etc… trying to sway sentiment another direction.

    Basically, in my book these people “may” be jealous, but more likely thieves or those employed by thieves or maybe trademark attorneys, like the kind we have seen coming from Texas time to time.

    Anyhow, most of us domain investors that have been around awhile have special reserved funds designated especially to bust the balls of anyone that tries a UDRP or otherwise and expose them publicly for who they are, just like Rick Schwartz is doing to Márcio Mello Chaves right now over the reverse domain hijacking attempt of SaveMe.com .

    Whoever is doing this to Norcross.com needs to be exposed in a big way.

    We need to start doing our part to get the word out about these companies so their customers can know who they Really are. Hit ‘em where it really hurts, their bottom line, you know.

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