Foundation backed by George Soros loses arbitration for domain name.
Open Society Institute, a think tank and foundation founded by billionaire George Soros, has lost a domain name dispute over the domain OpenSociety.org.
The majority of the three person National Arbitration Forum found that the domain name wasn’t registered and used in bad faith. Two of the panelists found that the domain was confusingly similar to the Open Society Institute mark and that the owner didn’t have rights or legitimate interests in the domain name. One panelist, Neil Anthony Brown, found against Open Society Institute on all three UDRP factors.
The saving grace for the domain owner appears to be that he registered several other “open” domain names, including openeconomy.org, openpolitics.org, and openpolicy.org. This lends credence to the idea that he viewed the domain name as generic.
The respondent in the case did an informal survey to find out if people identified “Open Society” with Soros’ institute, and found that the majority did not.
Originally, Open Society Institute contacted the domain registrant about purchasing the domain name. The domain registrant responded that he would need a six figure offer to consider selling it. That triggered the UDRP filing.
Photo: Copyright by World Economic Forum. swiss-image.ch/Photo by Sebastian Derungs. Creative Commons.