Olympic committees win gold against cybersquatter


The International Olympic Committee and the United States Olympic Committee have received a decision in their favour from National Arbitration Forum panellist Tyrus R Atkinson, protecting the OLYMPIC trademark from infamous serial cybersquatter John Barry.

The complainants established their rights in the OLYMPIC mark through proof of registration with authorized governing bodies, and continuous use of the mark since 1894 to promote and develop the Olympic Games. The OLYMPIC mark and emblem is also protected by the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act and incorporated into the Anti-cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act.

Aktinson held that Barry's use of the domain name 'olympiccommittee.com' to misdirect visitors to an anti-abortion website tarnished the OLYMPIC trademark. According to the decision, unauthorized parties cannot use the mark in domain names to "trade off the goodwill [the Olympic committees] have developed with the OLYMPIC and UNITED STATES OLYMPIC COMMITTEE trademarks."

The committees have already succeeded in stopping a large number of infringers from using the OLYMPIC marks in domain names through a persistent cease and desist campaign, as well as Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy and Start-up Trademark Opposition Policy actions and lawsuits in federal court (see Olympic Committee STOPs '.biz' cybersquatter).

James L Bikoff and Patrick L Jones, Silverberg Goldman & Bikoff, LLP, Washington DC

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