Morgan Freeman Wins Transfer of morganfreeman.com from Cybersquatter

By Evan D. Brown
Evan D. Brown

Perhaps Morgan Freeman never learned about the high profile domain name disputes involving celebrity names (e.g., Madonna, Bruce Springsteen and Julia Roberts), because he didn't register morganfreeman.com before it was snatched up by Mighty LLC in April 2003. After learning about Mighty LLC's (no stranger to domain name disputes) cybersquatting, Freeman filed a complaint before a WIPO arbitration panel under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy.

Mighty LLC didn't respond to Freeman's complaint, so the decision never had the opportunity to be very instructive. Prior to the filing of the complaint, Freeman's attorneys contacted Mighty LLC, to which Mighty LLC responded: "Your client isn't the only Morgan Freeman. Why do you think he/she is entitled to the domain name?"

The panel found that Freeman's long and successful career made his name distinctive for use in connection with movies and entertainment services. The panel also recognized Freeman's rights in the domain name based on a pending United States trademark application for MORGAN FREEMAN [Serial No. 78/531,828]. The panel further held that the circumstances indicated Mighty LLC had no rights or legitimate interests in the domain name, and that it was registered in bad faith.

Freeman v. Mighty LLC, Case No. D2005-0263 (April 28, 2005).

By Evan D. Brown, Attorney. Evan focuses on technology and intellectual property law. He maintains a law & technology focused blog called Internet Cases and is a Domain Name Panelist with the World Intellectual Property Organization deciding cases under the UDRP.

Related topics: Cybercrime, Domain Management, DNS, Domain Names, ICANN, Law, UDRP

Comments

Re: Morgan Freeman Wins Transfer of morganfreeman.com from Cybersquatter Dave Zan  –  May 11, 2005 9:46 AM PDT

Unfortunately morganfreeman.com is now in redemption period. GKG was remiss somewhere…