MTV wants Jackass.com. It better prepare for an uphill battle.
MTV’s parent company Viacom (NYSE: VIA.b) filed for arbitration to get the domain name Jackass.com, a case that commenced at WIPO on December 5. There are two problems for Viacom: it’s a generic term and it’s owned by Future Media Architects.
Jackass started as a TV show on MTV featuring people doing stunts and pranks. After running on MTV from 2000-2002 two Jackass movies were released.
It’s no wonder MTV would like to get the domain name. The official site for Jackass is JackassWorld.com, which is a far cry from Jackass.com. But if Viacom hopes it can just pay $1,500 to filed a UDRP and get the domain, it should have researched the owner first.
Future Media Architects (FMA) is famous for saying it never sells domains. As far as I can tell, that’s the truth. It owns some of the best domains in the world, including a number of two and three letter domain names. FMA recently beat Equifax (NYSE: EFX), which tried to grab the domain efx.com through arbitration.
But that doesn’t mean arbitrators always get it right, which is what Viacom is hoping for. FMA recently lost a case for LH.com to airline Lufthansa. But you’ll notice Lufthansa doesn’t own LH.com yet. That’s because FMA filed a lawsuit to block the transfer.
You can bet that if the arbitrator decides for some reason that Viacom should get Jackass.com, FMA will file a lawsuit. But I’d place higher odds on the arbitrator finding reverse domain name hijacking. A look back at the parked page on Jackass.com doesn’t show links related to the TV show or movie. Unless I’m missing something, this case should be easy for WIPO.