Codecademy beats Code Academy in domain dispute
They may know how to code, but they could work on domain name strategy.
Here’s an interesting domain name dispute involving hot startup Codecademy.
Codecademy, true to its name, helps people learn how to program. The company made quite a splash earlier this year when it got hundreds of thousands of people to “pledge” to learn how to code this year. Among the pledges was New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Although most of the New Years’ resolutions have certainly been abandoned, the company continues to do well. It just announced a $10 million investment from Index Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, Union Square Ventures, Yuri Milner and Richard Branson.
But there’s another startup that teaches programming that is rather upset about the similarity of its name — Code Academy — and Codecademy.
Code Academy started in 2011 and picked the domain name codeacademy.org. When Codecademy came out on Codecademy.com, it caused quite a bit of confusion.
But let’s face it, both of the companies’ domain names suck. CodeAcademy.org because people go to the .com, and Codecademy.com because you have to spell out the domain to someone for it to make sense. So Codecademy bought CodeAcademy.com to fix its problem.
Code Academy cried foul and filed a domain name dispute with World Intellectual Property Organization.
The panel ruled that it didn’t show it had any trademark in the term “Code Academy”. It was a victory for Codecademy, but the fight may have devalued both names. In making its argument, Codecademy suggested that Code Academy is merely descriptive. That could come back to haunt it as it tries to fight of cybersquatters in the future.