StratVantage Consulting, LLC — Mike’s Take on the News 03/05/01

From Evernote:

StratVantage Consulting, LLC — Mike’s Take on the News 03/05/01

Clipped from:

The News – 03/05/01

Watch Your Trademarks! eReferee Decision Broadens Trademark Protection for Domain Names

A recent federal court decision bars startup RightSports from using the word referee not only in its domain names (for example, but also in the names of its Web site directories (for example,

This decision reverses an ICANN decision that found in favor (for a change) of the little guy in a dispute with Referee magazine. The mag runs a pretty weak site called, which is little more than a place to sign up for subscriptions. RightSports developed a full-featured site called eReferee, the name of which the mag complained was too close to their trademark. Seems that the mag has a trademark on the use of the word referee in all publishing.

While I certainly can see the magazine’s point about the eReferee site name, I believe the court made a tremendous error in barring the use of the word referee from any part of a URL. This is tantamount to giving the trademark holder unlimited rights to a common English word.

In their arguments before ICANN, RightSports stated that there are other instances of the “e” usage. For example, eGolf is not affiliated with Golf magazine.

Regardless of whether the magazine had a legitimate complaint, this court decision sends a chill throughout the intellectual property community, and should worry any business person who uses un-trademarked words to describe their industry in a Web site. What’s next? Prohibiting RightSports from using the word referee in the text of their Web site? Keeping you from using industry terms on your Web site?

If there’s any justice, this ruling will be struck down upon appeal. Those interested in supporting RightSport’s legal struggle can donate to their legal defense fund .

By the way, I love eReferee’s tag line: “We rule!


WAP Browser for PCs

Alert SNS reader Larry Kuhn pointed me to a WAP browser you can install on your PC and use to view WAP-only sites. It’s at: . After installing the browser, you can go to sites such as , which I mentioned in the last SNS, and view the content. If you go to Webnum and type in my phone number, 19525251584, and if the site is up (it is beta), you should be taken to my wireless page.


Return to Mike’s Take


About NextPhase Selling

Social Media Performance Group is a premier enterprise social media consulting company that offers a unique approach to integrating social media into the enterprise — forget about the tools, it's all about the strategy! Rather than focusing on the tactics (do this or that on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube), first we work with you and your senior leadership to comprehend your corporate strategy. Once we understand your strategic objectives and goals, we show you how a comprehensive social media strategy can integrate with and support your corporate strategy. We take an enterprise-wide view based on our unique Enterprise Social Media Framework, which maps social media to all appropriate touchpoints in your enterprise. We go beyond the obvious quick hits — sales and marketing — and help you achieve social-media-driven results in areas such as product development, customer service, and employee engagement and retention. As a result, social media is not just bolted on; it is integrated with, and provides support for, your company's existing strategy and operations, yielding unprecedented results.
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