Trying to get a domain name that existed before your trademark.
I’m a big supporter of intellectual property rights. Unfortunately I’m stuck writing more often about lawyers and companies that overstep their bounds.
The latest case: Smart Tax Holdings, LLC. The company filed a federal lawsuit (pdf) against Marchex for the domain name SmartTax.com.
The plaintiff started using the name “Smart Tax” in 2006 and filed a trademark on it. The trademark was granted in November 2008.
SmartTax.com was originally registered in 2000. It was part of the Ultimate Search portfolio later acquired by Marchex.
So Marchex has owned the domain name since well before Smart Tax Holdings, LLC even started using the Smart Tax term. Yet its lawyer has the gall to write this:
Defendant has not used Plaintiff’s mark coincidentally, but rather chose to associate Plaintiff’s mark with its own website for the sole purpose of unfairly steering traffic thereto.
How can you suggest that a company is “unfairly steering traffic” to a domain name it owned many years before you existed?