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Mayo Clinic wins porn domain name dispute

Justice served?

Logo for Mayo Clinic has three overlapping blue shields
Mayo Foundation won rights to a domain name used for pornography.

Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, part of the famed Mayo Clinic, has won a complaint it filed against the domain name MayoPorno .com.

In the complaint filed with National Arbitration Forum, the organization claimed the domain was a case of “pornosquatting,” meaning using a well-known trademark to divert customers to a pornographic website for commercial purposes.

Panelist David Sorkin agreed that the domain name should be transferred to Mayo Foundation.

The domain name owner, who lives in Peru, did not respond to the dispute. It’s possible the person was not aware or did not understand the complaint, which was likely filed in English.

In undertaking limited research, I visited the domain in question, and I seriously doubt the domain owner was targeting the Mayo Clinic.

First, it seems like a very odd brand to target. Second, the capitalization on the logo was maYoPorno. Yo is one of the most common Spanish words, meaning I.

Nevertheless, Mayo Foundation will be the proud new owner of MayoPorno .com within 10 days, unless the domain owner disputes the decision in court.

 

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  1. John Andrews says

    I think the domain investor community/industry needs a running public accounting of disputes that are not “certainly” legit decisions, such as this one, vs. other categories that may be justified for other accounting reasons.

    Otherwise the available data on domain name disputes and rights concerns will be “dirty”, i.e. inaccurate in unacknowledged ways.

    Dirty data support misuse (e.g. citing a documented count of challenges won or lost, as suits your argument… when the count actually includes an unknown number of disputes that were resolved but not actually adjudicated.. such as this one. In other words, not “won” but transfered anyway.)

    MaYoPorno.com falls into “did not respond” which is close to a “default” as per rules. It should never be countable as a “win” for alleged rights holders, but instead be counted in a category of claim-made-with-no-response (or, a default transfer, or a single panelist’s uncontested personal decision lol).

    Had the registrant responded but failed to make a “winning” argument, and the panelist ruled the name is confusing for consumers (with respect to the Mayo family of trademarks), this would be an interesting case indeed! It would fall into a different category than “won by rights holder claimant”, as it would clearly IMHO be a case of “wow.. the system is (biased against non-English speaking registrants, biased against small entities, biased against domain investors, vulnerable to unaccountable single-panelist decision-making, etc etc all the potentially interesting categories that have stakeholders).

    Left as it is, the system merely continues year after year, hiding the various biases behind invalid accounting that says “overall, it’s not perfect but it seems to be working… as panelists agree with rights holders in a large number of cases, relatively few are acknowledged as attempts to abuse the system, and nobody’s making any strong data-backed arguments that the process sufers serious systemic flaws or biases”.

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