From: Doug Robb <doug§clarity.com.au>
Date: Wed, 17 Jan 2001 10:05:38 +0800 (WST)
NBA Marketer Loses Dispute

The merchandising arm of the National Basketball Association
has lost a
four-year battle for the rights of the Domain Name

A mediator ruled that NBA Properties Inc. could not claim
rights to the name, despite handling merchandising for the
New York
Knicks and other teams of the professional basketball

Read the whole story:
(its half way down the page under
Thursday, January 04, 2001 date - a shocking

For convenience I've pasted it here:

The Associated Press 

GENEVA (January 4, 2001 2:13 p.m. EST
http://www.nandotimes.com) - A United Nations-appointed
arbitrator has rejected a bid by the National Basketball
Association's merchandising company to take control of the
domain name www.knicks.com. 

In a ruling published Thursday, arbitrator William Mathis
said NBA Properties Inc. failed to prove it had the rights
to trademarks relating to the New York Knicks basketball
team, although it handles merchandising for all the NBA's
member teams. 

The domain name was originally registered by Adirondack
Software Corp., of Freeport, N.Y., but has been put on hold
by registrar Network Solutions since 1996 because of the
dispute over ownership. 

In its submission to the U.N. World Intellectual Property
Organization, NBA Properties said that, in 1998, Adirondack
agreed to hand over the domain name, but then never did. 

When the company tried to contact Adirondack again in 1999,
the letter was returned unclaimed. Adirondack also failed to
reply to WIPO's request for information. 

NBA Properties asked for the Web address to be transferred. 

In his ruling, arbitrator William Mathis said he was not
convinced that NBA Properties had the rights to the
trademarks, which are owned by Madison Square Garden L.P.,
the owner and operator of the Knicks team. 

Granting a transfer "would place ownership of the domain
name in an entity other than the trademark owner without
consent from the trademark owner," he said. 

He also found no evidence that Adirondack had registered the
name "in bad faith" - for instance in order to sell the
domain name for a profit, or to mislead the public. 

Anyone can register a domain name for a few dollars, which
has led so-called "cybersquatters" to file for famous names
to make a fast buck from those who want the names. Some
names are worth millions of dollars. 

The U.N. system, which started last year, allows those who
think they have the true right to a domain to get it back
without having to fight a costly legal battle or paying
large sums of money. 

Received on Wed Jan 17 2001 - 10:05:40 UTC

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