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.