Arbitration panel rules that NC State shouldn’t get Wolfpack.com domain name.
North Carolina State University, whose athletic teams are called the Wolfpack, has lost a domain name arbitration case for the domain Wolfpack.com.
The university filed the case against a company that registered the domain name in 1997. The university argued that the domain name was registered for the purpose of selling it, and used an unsolicited 2007 letter from the domain owner offering to sell the domain name as evidence.
The domain owner said he registered the domain name for a snowshoe project, and provided as evidence that he registered other Wolfpack product domains around the same time. He also argued that wolfpack is a generic term. When he eventually tried to sell it he reached out to multiple parties. Finally, he said the delay in the university bringing this case should be used against it.
The University responded to that last point by saying it sent its first demand letter to the respondent in 2002. This is, in some ways, damning to the university since it suggests it did not really feel like it had enough rights, otherwise it would have followed through in going after the domain.
A three person National Arbitration Forum panel ruled that it’s not clear the domain owner was specifically targeting the university in its registration, that there are many other companies with trademarks for “wolfpack,” and that at the end of the day the domain is a generic term with many plausible uses and reasons for registration.
The respondent was represented by Ari Goldberger of Esqwire.com.