In May of this year I was served a cease and desist letter from a company named Gaijin Entertainment. They demanded that I turn over this domain, gaijin.com, which I had registered in 1995, to them, a company founded in 2002, based on a claim of “trademark infringement.”
Obviously, I was not going to do that. I have never operated a game development business through this domain or name. Even if I had, there exists seven years of prior art in my name. My attorney, Mike Godwin, sent them a letter stating that I was not going to entertain the idea and that they should retract their claim.
There were no further comments from Gaijin Entertainment and I thought that was the end of it.
On Friday, October 4th, Mike Godwin and I were notified that Gaijin Entertainment had filed a Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution (UDRP) claim to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). In it they claim that I am doing damage to their trademark and seek to have the domain name stripped from me and awarded to them due to trademark violation.
I have the word “courage” tattooed on my arm. I am not going to let this happen without a fight.
Paul Alan Levy of Public Citizen has agreed to represent me regarding this issue. He has asked opposing counsel to withdraw the UDRP claim.
If they do not, we will seek a declaratory judgment of non-infringement in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, taking the fight to them rather than waiting around.
Among the complaints are some interesting bullet points.
- My domain name, registered on May 22, 1995, “fully incorporates” the “Gaijin” wordmark, which was not registered until October 11, 2011.
- One of the most prominent tags within my blog is “Games” and this apparently confuses people.
- I am apparently not using the word “gaijin” correctly (note that Gaijin Entertainment is not, either, so I’m unsure why this would be a thing). For sake of explanation, I chose the word “gaijin”, meaning “foreigner” or “alien” because at the time I was studying philosophical principles regarding identity and definition – specifically about how things are defined through contrast and opposition, and therefore my own identity, from my perspective, was always and forever going to be “alien” to me (since I cannot see myself except as in opposition).
- Certain blog posts of mine have bad words in them and apparently tarnish other people’s reputations.
- My email address apparently confuses people into thinking I am an employee of their company.
- I am apparently attempting to extort $750,000.00 dollars from them. This comes from a throw-away email exchange I apparently had with one of their employees. I have never had any intention to sell the domain but if someone seriously offered me a million dollars I’d be negligent in not considering the offer. I get offers at least once a month and always for some paltry sum (like $100 dollars). Telling people to throw out a “big number” usually ends the conversations quickly.
- The fact that I show up after them in Google searches means that I am somehow diverting traffic from them.
Below is a pdf of the complaint.