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Trademark Holder Lets Its Domain Drop & UDRP Says They Can’t Have It Back

Posted on the 06 November 2013 by Worldwide @thedomains

Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. lost its attempt to grab the domain name  which  was registered on August 18, 2013.

Its an interesting opinion and one of the first times I have ever read a UDRP decision where the panel recognizes that a company that allows its domain to drop is at least partially to blame:

“The Panel finds that the Complainant’s failure to renew its domain registration and not act promptly in re-registering the name is, realistically, a causative element in the Respondent’s own action in establishing its fan site at the disputed domain name.”

“Having effectively cast the disputed domain name into the public arena where it could be registered by any party, the Complainant cannot now validly complain if two years later the Respondent (or any other third-party) registered the name for a legitimate use.”

Here are the facts and findings from the one member panel:

The Complainant, through a wholly-owned subsidiary Rockstar Games Inc., produces a number of apparently well-known video game series, including the MANHUNT series. The games in these series are distinguished by complex narratives that unfold in large virtual worlds depicting complex environments, politics, entertainment, race relations and other subjects. The games are essentially interactive movies in which the player is in the role of the main character and can influence the outcome of each game. Each game has its own unique storyline with original characters. The MANHUNT series consists of the MANHUNT and MANHUNT2 games released in 2003 and 2007, respectively.

The plot of MANHUNT games focuses on a death row inmate, James Earl Cash (“Cash”), who is abducted from prison by a company called Valiant Video Enterprises (“Valiant Video”). Valiant Video will film Cash as he fights his way past various assailants Valiant Video has put in his path. If Cash survives, he will earn his freedom. If he fails – or refuses to fight – Valiant Video will kill his family. Cash acts throughout the games at Valiant Video’s direction, though constantly trying to find a method of escape that will not harm his family. Valiant Video itself is the omnipresent villain of the MANHUNT games.

Prior to release of the MANHUNT game, the Complainant created a website for Valiant Video to promote that game. The domain name used for this site was <> and the Complainant maintained and used the disputed domain name during 2003-2011.

In or about March 2011, the Complainant unintentionally allowed the registration for the disputed domain name to expire.…

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