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Marchex Defends Frontrunners.com Domain Name

Arbitration panel determines Marchex can keep domain name FrontRunners.com.

If there ever was a frontrunner for “dubious UDRP domain arbitration case”, FrontRunners.com may be it.

Bradley D Mittman MD dba FRONTRUNNERS has a trademark to the term FrontRunners for use in connection with educational conferences and services in the field of medicine, including tutorial sessions and correspondence courses. But you’ve probably never heard of the company or any of the other companies laying claim to a similar trademark.

Nonetheless, Mittman filed a UDRP against Marchex (NASDAQ: MCHX) subsidiary MDNH, Inc to try to get the domain name. With domain attorney John Berryhill on the defense, MDNH quashed the attempt. (See case).

Mittman’s claim that Frontrunners.com showed links related to his products was a bit of a stretch. The site apparently had links to Amazon, BizRate, and other major online stores and comparison shopping sites. His products are sold on these sites, so he claimed that MDNH was trying to take advantage of his not-so-famous trademark.

We observe that the Wayback Machine (“www.archive.org”) has cached six versions of the site to which the disputed domain resolved between October 18, 2000 and January 9, 2007. In none of those versions is there any apparent link to a product or services of the Complainant or any product or service competitive with that of the Complainant.

Marchex acquired FrontRunners.com through the acquisition of Yun Ye’s UltSearch portfolio.

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  1. Johnny says

    When the economy gets bad the bad folks come out to steal assets. 🙂

    I hope Frontrunners is now tarnished in the field of medicine for its attempt at theft.

  2. John Berryhill says

    Andrew, you missed the fun part of this case:

    “The Response was filed with the Center January 28, 2009.”

    Do you recall what you were doing that day?

  3. UR L. Lirez says

    Hmm, I’ve read the actual case INCLUDING Annexes (Exhibits; see Annex#6) and, despite all the good ‘ol boys jocularity about who vacations where on whose money, ALL 5 OUT OF 5 sponsored links shown in Complainant’s Annex#6 went to Dr Mittman’s products. (3 more links at the bottom were just “sham” links just for show, returning “page not found”. That exhibit also shows that clicking on the “FRONTRUNNERS” link Respondent Marchex provided customers in the upper right corner of the “frontrunners.com” page SIMPLY REFRESHED the same page. But all 5 out of 5 WORKING links on the page referred EXACTLY to Dr Mittman’s products, meaning you were certainly deriving illicit gains from cybersquatting on their “dictionary” word. Who cares what 6 screenshots from waybackmachine showed over 7 years from 2000-2007? How many of those 6 snapshots were taken from the time Dr Mittman trademarked FRONTRUNNERS 7-24-2005 and grew that name? That’s right. They squeezed out 4 of those 6 in JUST 6 months time between October 2000 and July 2001. Only 2 wayback snapshots were taken since FRONTRUNNERS trademarked the name, and neither of those was in 2008 or 2009. Dr Mittman’s screenshots from 1-13-08, Annex#6, clearly shows that you were obviously receiving pay-per-click fees and/or referral or associates fees, overtly capitalizing on their good name. This was obviously a BAD ruling by the WIPO panelists to allow Marchex to continue cybersquatting frontrunners.com. Given your over 107,000 other domain names referred to in the complaint, the long list of cases against Marchex, and the Complainant’s own RECENT screenshots, let’s face it, as attornies, we’re all just thieves.

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