Partial victory for rap music mogul Master P
Rap music mogul Percy Miller, better known as Master P, received a split decision from National Arbitration Forum panellist Tom Arnold in an unusual case involving two domain names. Arnold granted the transfer of 'NewNoLimitRecords.com' to Miller but rejected his claim to 'PmillerCollection.com'.
Miller is the founder of the rap music label No Limit Records, which has sold more than 50 million records. Miller also sells clothing under the mark P MILLER COLLECTION.
The defendent, Divine Mafa, initially responded to a cease and desist letter from Miller by offering to sell him the domain names for $100,000. Divine Mafa also claimed that it had operated its own P Miller clothing company since 1998.
In his discussion, Arnold noted that the submissions of both parties gave "rise to reasonable skepticism about many of the conclusory facts alleged" and that "mere allegations of self-serving conclusions of contested issues are often almost completely meaningless to the panel."
Ultimately, Arnold ordered the transfer of 'NewNoLimitRecords.com', having found that:
- the domain name was confusingly similar to Miller's NO LIMIT RECORDS trademark;
- Divine Mafa had no rights or legitimate interests in the domain name; and
- the domain name had been registered in bad faith.
As to the domain name 'PMillerCollection.com', Arnold rejected Miller's request for transfer apparently because Miller - who Arnold found is known as Master P and not Percy Miller - did not demonstrate that the domain name 'PMillerCollection.com' had been registered and used in bad faith.
One final unique aspect of the case is that Divine Mafa filed a counterclaim against Miller for his ownership of the domain names 'P-Miller-Collection.com' and 'PMiller-Collection.com'. Arnold dismissed the claim because "under the UDRP, panels have no authority to rule on counterclaims involving other domain names."
James L Bikoff and Patrick L Jones, Silverberg Goldman & Bikoff LLP, Washington DC
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