LOS ANGELES, Calif. (July 9, 2008) – Intellectual property law firm Christie, Parker & Hale, LLP today announced that the National Arbitration Forum (NAF) has ruled in favor of its client, Sigma Two Group LLC, the California-based manufacturer of FIREFLY MAGIC® simulated firefly lights for residential and commercial use, in a domain name dispute with a competitor, Avenstar.
Avenstar had registered the domain name magicalfireflies.com and was using it to sell competing goods. In its opinion, the NAF said that under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), one competitor may not try to attract Internet users seeking a competitor’s goods to its own Website by using a domain name that is confusingly similar to a competitor’s trademark and domain name. (The UDRP applies to all .com, .net, .org, .biz, .info, and .mobi domain names.)
The NAF is a specialized worldwide panel of legal experts with trademark, copyright and e-commerce experience selected by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) to oversee and administer domain name conflicts.
The panel found that: (1) the domain name magicalfireflies.com was identical or confusingly similar to Sigma Two’s trademarks and domain name of fireflymagic.com. (2) Avenstar had no rights or legitimate interest in the domain name magicalfireflies.com, and (3) Avenstar had registered and used the domain name magicalfireflies.com in bad faith. Accordingly, the panel ordered the domain name magicalfireflies.com be transferred to Sigma Two.
"This protection under the UDRP is especially important for competitors in niche markets that make products dependent upon Internet sales," said CPH partner Gary Nelson, who represented Sigma Two in the case. "A competitor’s use of a confusingly similar domain name can severely damage the reputation, sales and distribution network of another. It’s important for businesses with similar problems to know there is a speedy and relatively inexpensive dispute resolution process that may resolve their problem short of litigating in federal court."
About Sigma Two Group LLC
Sigma Two Industries, a division of the Sigma Two Group LLC, specializes in the design, manufacture, and distribution of specialty low voltage lighting systems for residential locations, including unique landscape and indoor special effects lighting. In addition, it designs and manufactures custom lighting systems for theme parks, museums, zoos, stage productions, movies, commercial businesses and a wide variety of other venues. The firm, founded in 1979, is located in Apple Valley, Calif.
About Christie, Parker & Hale
Christie, Parker & Hale is a leading intellectual property law firm operating at the intersection of science, technology and the law. Engaged exclusively in all aspects of intellectual property law, most of the firm’s attorneys hold degrees in engineering or the sciences, bringing added value and perspective to client service. Drawing on a 54-year heritage, the firm continues to propel innovation and stimulate business growth by protecting its clients’ most valuable assets – intellectual property.
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