On July 18, the Administrative Panel of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) issued a decision denying the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) complaint proceeding filed by the Tribune Company regarding the domains occupiedchicagotribune.org and occupychicagotribune.org.
If the UDRP complaint had been successful, the WIPO panel would have ordered the transfer of the Occupied Chicago Tribune’s domain names to the Tribune Company.
The Administrative Panel Decision states:
Given the circumstances of this case and in particular the heavy and nearly universal coverage of the Occupy Movement within the national and local media, the Panel holds that the Occupy Movement is so well known within the relevant area (both parties being from Chicago, Illinois, in the United States) that the Domain Names are not confusingly similar to Complainant’s mark. The Panel agrees with Respondent’s assertion that no reasonable person in the Chicago area would confuse the Domain Names with Complainant or Complainant’s publication. … Here, the added words are not simply generic terms or terms that are likely to be associated with Complainant, but instead are terms that have a very distinctive meaning connected to the activities of the Respondent in this case, and in particular a meaning that connotes disassociation with Complainant.
The Occupied Chicago Tribune thanks sole panelist Michael A. Albert for his decision, which we hope will have important implications for the rights of other Occupy publications across the country. Our sincere thanks also go to Attorneys Michael Deutsch and Ben Elson of the People’s Law Office, who filed a response on our behalf to the Tribune Company’s complaint.
You can read the decision, dated July 5, in full here (PDF).