Tiger Enforces Trademark Rights

It turns out Tiger Woods hasn’t just been racking up victories on the golf course. He’s also been effective at enforcing his trademark rights online. Tiger recently won two domain-name disputes. He wrested tigerwoodscoursedesign.com and tigerwoodsdesign.com from individuals who had registered those names earlier this year, obviously trying to capitalize on his fame. In the first case, a man apparently operating a golf shop in the U.K. registered the name in January and, according to the arbitrator’s ruling, later said he “was quite happy to transfer the domain name to Tiger Woods as long as they would be willing to send him some signed Tiger memorabilia to cover his costs.” In the second case, a person in Florida registered the name but failed to respond when Tiger’s representative, IMG Worldwide Inc., filed a complaint with the National Arbitration Forum in August. I’ve been studying these types of disputes as part of a book I’m writing on domain names. I’ve learned that these cases remain frequent. The arbitration panels that handle many of the disputes (settled frequently in that fashion rather than in more expensive federal lawsuits) have their hands full.

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