Trademarks/Domain Names. Why did Jerry Falwell lose and Bill Cosby win?

Bill Cosby prevailed this week in a domain name dispute involving FATALBERT.ORG (William H. Cosby, Jr. v. Sterling Davenport). This dispute was resolved in an ICANN arbitration, which requires that the complainant prove both that the domain name was registered and used in bad faith in order to succeed. The arbitrator found that Mr. Davenport had no legitimate interest in the domain name, that he had registered it solely with the intention of trading on the fame of Cosby’s Fat Albert character, and that he sold sexually explicit products and drugs on the site, which the arbitrator found particularly offensive since the Fat Albert mark is so closely associated with children. Mr. Davenport’s for-profit conduct clearly constituted bad faith use and registration of the domain name, and he was ordered to transfer the domain name to Cosby.

Compare this with The Reverend Jerry Falwell’s attempt to gain control over FALLWELL.COM,… Read the full article

Webcasts of SJC Oral Arguments

by Lee Gesmer on September 14, 2005

The Supreme Judicial Court and Suffolk University Law School are webcasting oral arguments, both live and archived.

  • Link to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Oral Arguments Site here.
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Business Litigation Session. Judge Allan Van Gestel has been the presiding judge in the Suffolk Superior Court Business Litigation Session (the BLS), since its inception in October 2000. The session has been an unqualified success, and is closely associated with Judge Van Gestel, who has brought expertise and integrity to the session.

However, Massachusetts has a mandatory retirement age of 70, and Judge Van Gestel turns 70 in December.

For an article discussing the history of the session and Judge Van Gestel’s imminent retirement click here.

For the rules of the BLS click here.

The question on the minds of many Massachusetts lawyers, of course, is whether Judge Van Gestel will be “recalled” for special assignments. Judge Van Gestel reportedly is open to the prospect, but so far, the State is mum on this issue.… Read the full article

Antitrust. Here is a link to the Complaint in this long-anticipated lawsuit. A link to the DOJ’s press release, announcing the suit, is here.

In a nutshell, the suit alleges that the NAR has blocked competition by allowing real estate agents to withhold listings from brokers who utilize the Internet. The DOJ and the NAR have been attempting for months to negotiate a settlement to the issues raised by this suit, and apparently the NAR made a last gasp attempt last Thursday, when it announced a modified approach to its policy on Internet listings. However, the DOJ believed that the NAR had not gone far enough, precipitating this lawsuit.

I’ll discuss this suit in more detail in a later blog.… Read the full article