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Mike Mann sues to stop SoundStop.com transfer

Asks court for declaratory relief, will halt domain transfer.

Domain name investor Mike Mann, through his company Domain Asset Holdings, has filed a lawsuit (pdf) to halt an adverse UDRP decision.

Blue Ridge Fiberboard, Inc, maker of soundproofing fiberboard, filed a UDRP against Mann’s SoundStop.com domain name in February. A three-member panel sided with the Blue Ridge and ordered the domain name transferred.

Mann filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington at Seattle. This is where eNom, where Mann registered the domain, is located.

The suit seeks declaratory relief under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act. The immediate effect of the lawsuit is that it will suspend the UDRP panel’s decision to transfer the domain.

Mann is represented by Perkins Coie LLP.

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  1. jaybuk says

    Thanks for digging this up Andrew. Please keep us updated with the results of the lawsuit. Somebody at Blue Ridge Fiberboard is having a pretty bad day…

  2. Ian Ingram says

    Mike had the domain listed for 35k. Same price Merlin Kauffman asked for FiberStar.com which you mentioned earlier today.

    Two UDRP’s with very different results but both complainants reacted the same towards the 35k price tag.

    Looks like Great Southern Insulation owned the domain prior to Mike and had been soundproofing since 1973. Blue Ridge has a 2003 TM on ‘soundstop’ for fiberboard sheathing.

    I could see those keywords being used in a lot of ways other than just soundproofing. It will be interesting to see how this one shakes out.

  3. C. S. Watch says

    I had to search that decision five times just to confirm that NOWHERE is the domain registration date mentioned. Omitting a fact which is necessary for the prima facie case? Is this some half-baked conspiracy to commit grand larceny? Panelists Jaime Delgado, Sandra J. Franklin, and Carolyn Marks Johnson fused their naivete with self-righteous thug behavior, and now we’ve got to foot the tax bill to fix it.

    The soundstop.com domain was registered in 1999. In the Ninth Circuit, those rights carry to the aftermarket buyer, the respondent. The only trademark registration was filed as an intent-to-use in 2003. So no trademark registration at time of domain registration. A common law mark with a 17 year lag in filing a dispute? That complainant has shown up to lie to the panel.

    Celotex, the original common law mark holder of ‘soundstop,’ went bankrupt in 1990 for worldwide asbestos deaths. It was the largest bankruptcy settlement in history (celotextrust.com) at 200 billion USD. They reconfigured in 1996 and went bankrupt again in 2003 when 100 people burned to death in a nightclub lined with Soundstop wallboard. ‘Knight-Celotex’ again went bankrupt in 2009, and then in August 2014, they were liquidated to the instant complainant: W.R Meadows. (Calling the new subsidiary ‘Blue Ridge Fiberboard.’) It is the same Celotex factory, and Meadows cites “decades-old synergies” dating to the 1930s with Celotex. What a convoluted story this welching serial killer has with this alleged common law mark right—and how clearly outside the purview of the UDRP.

    The word ‘soundstop’ for wall material has a user in Germany, in Australia, and in the US there are at least three unrelated ‘Soundstop’ wall material mark users. That is why the complainant filed this dispute. So they could confuse and cull those consumers, who are searching under this generic name. What if your family member had heard of a high-quality Soundstop product, and confusing that with this garbage, she unintentionally lines her child’s nursery with the complainant’s deathtrap wall tinder? With generics like ‘soundstop,’ panelists are not only harming the respondent by transferring. They harm the other mark users, and their customers as well. The public good would be better served by a page with links to the disparate providers using this name. Or let the market work as intended: where a provider invests in a name, they act to protect that brand with reputable behavior.

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