Fox News Fails to Learn Basic Business Lessons

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If you are a major corporation about to launch a new product or service, one of the boxes you should tick these days is to register the relevant domain name(s) along with the relevant trade marks. But Fox News failed this simple test last year when it launched a business news channel and failed to register the domain name foxbusinessnetwork.com and the relevant trade mark.

On the same day Fox launched its business news channel, Worldwide Directory Services (WDS) registered the domain name foxbusinessnetwork.com. It was not until to July 16, 2007 that Fox News registered the trade marks for the term Fox Business Network and because of this, there was no obligation on WDS to hand over the domain name.

As Out-Law.com reports, WIPO sets three conditions for them to consider ordering domain names to be transferred. These are “[th]e name must be identical or confusingly similar to a trade or service mark held by the person who wants to gain control of it, the person holding the domain name must have no rights in it, and the domain name must be registered and used in bad faith.”

Fox failed to meet the second condition. “Fox argued that the registration of the name was designed to create a likelihood of confusion from which WDS would benefit. It also said that WDS had contacted it and offered to sell the domain for $50,000,” according to Out-Law.com.

Further, “WDS claimed that it had been publishing web pages using the term ‘fox business network’ since 2002, and that the ‘fox’ in question referred to its president’s nickname, which it said was ‘the British fox’.”

To read more of Out-Law’s article, see out-law.com/page-8924.