John Berryhill does not think domain investors should be excited by TM

While some are championing and raising prices on their one word .com domain names. John Berryhill has a completely different take. Of course this is one man’s opinion, but John does have an expert background in defending domain names in legal disputes.

In a series of posts at Namepros John has commented that,

“The UDRP rules will never be amended in a manner that is favorable to domain registrants, for reasons too complicated to quickly describe. To put it briefly, in the relevant ICANN working group discussing the subject, domainer interests are outnumbered by around 80 to 1. And this will NEVER happen”

He went on to reply to others and wowed the crowd with the point that owning Drink.com could become useless and worthless if someone gets a TM on Drinks.com.

Namepros member Keith replied: @Kate Buckley is celebrating this and she’s not alone amongst “industry experts “. Just proves that we all have lots to learn…

Here is the full post on Drink.com:

Priority is an important principle in trademark law, and trademark rights are not retroactive.

But so what.

From the perspective of domainers, it doesn’t matter.

if you have drink.com and are looking to sell it, and someone later obtains a trademark right in “drinks.com” for a site related to drinks, you’re screwed.

Your domain is now worthless. You can’t develop it for drinks, and you sure as hell can’t sell it to anyone else who wants to use it for drinks. Your buyer doesn’t benefit from your priority because you cannot convey any goodwill in a “for sale” page to someone who wants to use the name for its dictionary meaning.

Yeah, sure, you can keep your domain name, but you can’t use it or sell it. No one will buy it from you.

So, this notion of “it makes generic names more valuable” completely IGNORES the fact that each generic domain which becomes a trademark renders several others to be completely worthless.

The ICA isn’t going to tell you what happens to the value of your bicycle.com or bicycler.com, when someone comes along and obtains a trademark for bicycles.com.

They become worthless and unsellable.

This decision provides the basis to render countless domain names to be worthless junk.  

Read all the comments here.

Jess Coller an ip attorney for 30 years gave his opinion on what the ruling means. He focused on how small/mid sized businesses should feel. .

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