Not with a Bang, but with a Whimper
It has been a while since I’ve posted and I figure it’s probably time to explain what happened with regards to the attempts by Gaijin Entertainment to forcibly obtain my domain, gaijin.com.
The answer is, unsurprisingly, that I won. However, it ended not with a bang but with a whimper.
The fight was over in November of 2013 and I could have written about it then but decided to hold off in case there was any further legal trickery that required attention.
After serving me with a Universal Domain Name Dispute Complaint, I found myself to be luckily connected with Paul Alan Levy and Public Citizen, who decided to take my case. There was a series of emails that went back and forth between the counsel of Gaijin Entertainment and my own counsel, all of which were entertaining to read.
Paul told them “no, nothing doing, and we’ll be going to court if you persist.” At this point, Gaijin Entertainment’s legal team opted to “suspend” the UDRP complaint. Suspension of these complaints lasts for one calendar month, during which time parties are expected to come to a settlement. At the end of the month, if there has been no activity, the complaint is automatically withdrawn (though without prejudice – meaning it can be refiled), and a certain percentage of the fees are returned to the complaining party.
Eventually, Gaijin Entertainment offered a “settlement” agreement, which effectively read as follows:
- I, and all successors of the domain, recognize and acknowledge Gaijin Entertainment’s ownership and rights to the trademark “Gaijin”, worldwide;
- I, and all successors of the domain, agree not to challenge the trademark;
- I, and all successors or the domain, agree not to seek registration of the trademark “gaijin”;
- I enter a confidentiality and non-disparagement agreement regarding Gaijin Entertainment;
- I agree to place a prominent disclaimer on my website pointing visitors to the Gaijin Entertainment website;
- And that the agreement would be binding to all successors of the domain.
Unsurprisingly, our response was akin to “sit and spin”. The language was stronger, however. I’ll leave it as an exercise to the reader to guess the precise vocabulary.
After another few weeks, the URDP suspension period expired and the complaint was automatically withdrawn.
I’ve heard nothing since.
Hopefully now I’ll be able to write more without fear.