University of Texas Loses Domain Name Dispute

University loses fight for

I have to admit I’m a bit ashamed of my alma mater today. The University of Texas lost a UDRP case against Kevin Ham’s Vertical Axis for the domain name

The University’s official athletics site is, and it was concerned that some people might type in .org instead of .com. This is plausible given that it’s a non-profit. gets over 300,000 visits per month.

Still, the University made quite a stretch claiming trademark rights to the generic term “Texas Sports”. It based this claim on the University’s trademark to “Texas”. But, as Vertical Axis pointed out through attorney Ari Goldberger, this doesn’t give UT exclusive rights to anything attached to “Texas”, especially something generic.

I think a better strategy for UT’s attorney, William G. Barber, would have been to argue for some sort of common law rights in “Texas Sports”. That would still be a long shot, though.

While finding that the domain name wasn’t confusingly similar to UT’s mark, the panelist declined to find reverse domain name hijacking.

Barber has successfully brought many other UDRP claims on behalf of UT and Baylor University in Waco, Texas.


  1. Tim says

    They should have just offered the Vertical Axis $30,000 or something similar instead of IMO trying to steal it.

  2. domain guy says

    texas is a backward state to begin with. in addition the udrp does not recognize state trademark rights ….as everything in texas is backwards texas has a law on the books that states when you register a texas state trademark you have national trademark rights.
    you have to know all these less than stellar tm laws when attorneys are involved… case you have to send one of these yeahoos to school.if the university had it together they would have registered the .com and had it forwarded into the .org version.but of course this involves stragetic thinking absent from texas.

  3. says


    Doubtful Kevin Ham is going to accept a mere 3,000 for the domain name, but they probably should have made some sort of offer before filing a UDRP… Either that, or they could’ve hired Mr. Goldberger before Ham did.

    Congrats to Ari.

  4. R.M. says

    I’m not sure of KH’s position about TMs.

    For example, I would think would be a TM infringement. And, GU was established before the domain was created.
    (GU established 1789.)

    It is in privacy in Kevin’s registrar for the past 4 yrs.
    It is using HitFarm for many years.
    And, the whois for the domain states –
    “ is authorized by the domain owner to facilitate the sale of this domain.”
    Which is Kevin’s brokerage service.

  5. says

    Sobre mi blog. Lo creé hace apenas unos días. y espero que así como neoteo tiene una gran comunidad de seguidores, mi blog también pueda tenerla, y que los estudiates de la Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo lo usen de forma habitual.

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