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Now.com owner Starbucks (HK) Limited loses dispute over .now

Company that owns now.com loses the first of many objections it filed over the .now top level domain.

IPTV company Starbucks (HK) Limited has lost its legal rights objection against One.com A/S’ application for the .now top level domain name.

Starbucks, which is not affiliated with the coffee chain, owns the second level domain name Now. It’s also a rival applicant for .now and filed legal rights objections against all five competing applicants.

The fact that five other companies applied for .now is a good indicator that they weren’t applying just to take advantage of a Hong Kong company’s IPTV brand, and instead want the domain because of the generic English language word.

Starbucks argued, “The evidence shows that the NOW Mark is globally recognized as one of the leading trademarks in the global IPTV market and as such it has a massive reputation…”

Right here, the company gives up the case. The fact that the NOW mark is popular in one business doesn’t give it global meaning. But then it tried to draw a connection between this and domain names:

The services which the Respondent will be providing in relation to the .NOW gTLD are Internet related and therefore highly similar, if not identical to, the IPTV services provided by PCCW under the NOW Mark…

As you can imagine, that didn’t work. The panel declined the objection.

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