Steinway hits the wrong note in domain name dispute.
Piano manufacturer Steinway, Inc. has lost a case for the domain name American-Steinway.com against a company that deals in used Steinway pianos.
The case pitted the company against Carey Simon and his business partner Robert Friedman, who has been in the business of buying, restoring and reselling Steinway pianos for more than 35 years, according to the response.
The decision by a three member National Arbitration Forum panel clearly spells out the situation in which a reseller can use a brand’s name in his or her web site without falling prey to a UDRP case:
1. The respondent actually offers the goods and services at issue;
2. the respondent uses the site only to offer those goods;
3. the site accurately reveals the lack of affiliation with the trademark owner; and
4. the respondent is not trying to corner the market on all relevant domain names, thus depriving the trademark owner of own use of its mark in a domain name.
That said, this is an area of disagreement among panelists.
Steinway, Inc. should have got the name. All the laws, all the cybersquatting news concerns use of trademark in the DOMAIN. If Trademark is in the content, there may be reason, like news, reviews, and sales. Including a trademark in a domain crosses the line, IMO.
coffee break says
Ari, nice job. Great win.
It looks like the piano restorer wants to push his luck. Last month, they registered AmericanSteinway,com .
Because of their recent registration, I bet it goes to federal court just so Steinway can set a precedent.
Barry Lebovitz says
@Louise Read parts 1-4.
This is an interesting case, of course the brand name is in the domain. However it is such a crap domain w/ hyphen and everything. Steinway just wants to set precedent like coffee is saying.
However, brands need to RELAX. This guy is actually helping their business. It is ridiculous. If you partner with a company say discover. Then you offer branddiscovercard.com as your website. Then discover sues you for using their brand…
I mean, it’s just futile. TM holders need to learn how to pick their battles.
How about if I register BarryLebovitzSpeaks.com and publish your posts and comment on them, are you okay with that?