Monday, September 10, 2012

Libya Loses Cybersquatting Case

English: image from the official U.S. Court bi...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In his 19-page decision last week in Libya & Embassy of Libya v. Ahmad Miski (Case No. 1:06-cv-02046), United States District Court for the District of Columbia Judge Reggie Walton sided with a domain name-holder, ruling that the North African nation failed to show "Embassy of Libya" or "Libyan Embassy" were entitled to trademark protection.

As reported by Legal Times, Libya sued Miski, executive director of the Washington-based Arab American Chamber of Commerce, for trademark infringement [15 U.S.C. secs.1125(a)(1)A,(B)] and violation of the AntiCybersquatting Consumer Protection Act [15 U.S.C. sec. 1125(d)]. The defendant in 2002 and 2003 purchased four domain names that combine the words embassy and Libya.

Judge Walton noted that the plaintiffs never registered the Embassy of Libya name for trademark protection, and failed to present evidence that the public was confused by the defendant's Web sites. Judge Walton held that the embassy's name was descriptive, rather than suggestive, and therefore, did not merit trademark protection. Descriptive names merely describe the essence of an entity, whereas suggestive names require consumers  to work harder to understand what the name or mark entails.

In ruling that Miski had done nothing illegal, Judge Walton wrote that the Libyan embassy also failed to show continuous use of its mark because it was unable to offer services during the 18 years that the U.S. imposed sanctions on the nation then ruled by Muammar Gaddafi, who was deposed and killed in a 2011 insurrection.

If you want to do business online with the Embassy of Libya, you have to go to
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