Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Suing over a name as a domain name Suing over a name as a domain name

Country star sues over rights to keithurban.com brings up some interesting cyberlaw questions. Keith Urban the country singer is suing Keith Urban the artist for keithurban.com. Since KU the artist's name matches the domain name, the ICANN domain name resolution process won't help KU the country singer. And pretty much ditto for our Cybersquatting law. Which is why KU the country singer is using trademark law and the federal registration of his name as a trademark. Yes, there is a likelyhood of confusion. But it can mostly be blamed on their respective mothers naming both babies "Keith". Besides KU the artist has prior rights to the mark, since he was using it as his name long before KU the country singer registered it (but was he using it in trade or business?)

If all things were equal and fair, KU the artist would win. But they aren't, and KU the country singer most likely has a lot more money to pour into this case, and so has a significant chance of winning, though legally, and arguably morally, he shouldn't.

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