Minneapolis, MN (PRWEB) December 9, 2005
The National Arbitration Forum announced today that a ruling has been issued in favor of celebrity Will Smith regarding the rights to willsmith.tv (Claim Number FA0510000587480).
Willard C. Smith II, represented by Allen B. Grodsky, filed a complaint electronically with the National Arbitration Forum on October 26, 2005, asserting legal rights to the domain name willsmith.tv. The address was registered by the Respondent, “Barney Rubble,” of Vancouver, British Columbia, on November 3, 2004. The panel found that the domain was being used to advertise products and services completely unrelated to Smith, including materials used in the cultivation of marijuana.
Ruling in Smith’s favor, a National Arbitration Forum arbitrator concluded that willsmith.tv was “confusingly similar” to the WILL SMITH mark, which Smith registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office in February 2002. The arbitrator also found that the Respondent did not have legitimate rights to, or interest in, the disputed Web address, and was using the address in bad faith for his own commercial gain. Further reinforcing the bad faith finding was the fact that the Respondent had attempted to sell Smith the rights to the domain name.
The National Arbitration Forum administers more than 1,000 Internet domain disputes similar to that of the Will Smith dispute each year under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). The domain name dispute process is a popular alternative to lengthy and expensive trademark lawsuits.
A copy of the decision, Willard C. Smith, II v Barney Rubble, is available for viewing on the National Arbitration Forum website at: http://www.arb-forum.com/domains/decisions/587480.htm.
About the National Arbitration Forum
The National Arbitration Forum is one of the world's leading providers of alternative dispute resolution solutions, including arbitration and mediation, representing a distinguished panel of over 1,500 attorneys and retired judges in the U.S. and in 29 countries. Founded in 1986, the National Arbitration Forum administers more than 50,000 cases annually. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the National Arbitration Forum also has offices located in New Jersey and Los Angeles. Additional information is available at the National Arbitration Forum's website at http://www.arbitration-forum.com.
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