DOMAIN NAMES DISPUTES INVOLVING SELLERS OF TICKETS FOR SPORTS EVENTS

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) arbitration panels have upheld the rights of stadiums to oppose domain name registrations by online ticket sellers that threaten the stadiums' financial strength and reputation. Typically, independent ticket sellers are required to negotiate a license with venue operators. Some ticket sellers, however, have attempted to bypass this license requirement by displaying minor and subtle alterations of the venue’s name or the top level domain suffix. These efforts generally have been found to infringe upon the venue owner's intellectual property rights.

The following questions have been addressed in this article:

How can online enterprises legitimately use venues' trade names?
Can venues be forced to provide a license?
What arguments have respondents presented to support a legitimate use claim?

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