Domain Name Wire

Domain Name Wire

  • Email Marketing Company Emma Sues Microstrategy, Owner of Emma.com

    1. BY - Oct 03, 2011
    2. Policy & Law
    3. 2 Comments

    Emma, Inc. pays for not owning Emma.com.

    A heavyweight battle is about to ensue over the name “Emma”.

    Email marketing company Emma, Inc., which operates its main web site at MyEmma.com, has sued publicly traded MicroStrategy for trademark infringement (pdf).

    MicroStrategy has owned the domain name Emma.com since the 1990s but didn’t use it until recently. The company is no small fish; it has a market cap of $1.22 billion.

    At issue is MicroStrategy’s recent launch of an app called “Emma” and Emma.com. Emma, Inc. claims that MicroStrategy is infringing its trademark and that its logos look similar.

    As I wrote about several years ago, Emma, Inc. has an identity crises. It decided to brand itself as “Emma” instead of “MyEmma” despite operating at MyEmma.com.

    Emma, Inc has approached MicroStrategy about buying the domain name “on multiple occasions”. An exhibit to the lawsuit shows that MicroStrategy offered to sell the domain name for $3 million or lease it for $10,000 a month.

    I agree with Emma, Inc. that the logo on Emma.com is somewhat similar. But I find it hard to believe that a billion dollar business intelligence company is purposely trying to tread on Emma, Inc.

    Emma, Inc. is not asking for the domain name to be transferred.

2 Comments
  • This example is a good lesson to large end users who want to pull a trigger to buy a particular domain – usually a better and shorter version related to their main brand – but are paralyzed for years because of one or several of the following – CEO and senior execs are clueless about domains, their outside advertising agency tells them domains do not matter, their marketing exec does not want marketing funds diverted towards domain purchase, their tech guy hates domainers and thinks every domain is worth $100 max.

    The result is total paralysis that lasts for years and soon decades. They could have bought the name for tens of thousands in the 90s, or for hundreds of thousands 5-10 years ago. But they were paralyzed to spend the money every time, and every time they revisit the issue, the price goes up by several hundred percent. So now they feel stupid and incompetent for not buying the name previously on top of everything else.

    The irony is that $3M or $120K per year is still dirt cheap for a large corporate end user. There is no reason the price should not be $15M to buy or $600K per year to rent in this situation. $600K per year is still a very affordable price for a large corporate end user. If I owned this domain in this exact situation, this is where I would price it.

  • Emma, Inc. is not asking for the domain name to be transferred.

    How…odd.

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