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According to a report from Gamer/Law, Take Two Interactive has lost a lawsuit against Name Administration Inc. (NA Media) over the rights to the URL

According to the report, the World Intellectual Property Organization legal board who was overseeing the case decided that Take Two had failed to prove that NA Media registered the URL is an attempt to “trade off the value and goodwill of [Take-Two's] Bioshock trademark by diverting users to third-party commercial websites for profit.” The legal board decided in favor of NA Media due to the fact that the company registered the URL in 2004, almost a year before Take Two registered BioShock as a trademark.

According to NA Media, it registered the domain because “bioshock” holds other uses besides Take Two’s videogame. NA Media claimed that the cosmetics company Johnson & Johnson was expressing interest in the domain for an upcoming skin care product.

I don’t know about you guys, but this is the kind of thing that really pisses me off. You see, when NA Media first registered the domain, it was before the official announcement of BioShock, however it was after the game was “unofficially announced.” It’s obvious that NA Media, a company based out of the Cayman Islands, is just sniping URLs in an attempt to extort companies for the rights to the domain. The funny thing is, Take Two brought proof that NA Media has done this sort of thing in the past (It registered the URL in an attempt to do the same kind of thing). Unfortunately the WIPO ruled in favor of NA Media.

What do you guys think about this? Would you guys be upset if someone sniped a URL you were eyeing? Do you think this whole URL debacle has had any effect on BioShock‘s sales? Let us know with a comment below.

Source:  Gamer/Law

  1. Funny thing about this: I was just reading about the company that produces Dr. Who attempting to trademark the police box, getting sued by the London police force, and winning on the grounds that anyone who sees a police box will recognize it as the TARDIS and not a real object. So it’s not like first use of a name or object automatically guarantees ownership. I’d be interested in knowing what would happen if you asked a random person on the street what “bioshock” meant to them.

    And not to advocate any form of discrimination, but just about everything that goes on in the Cayman Islands is illegal. It’s a running joke in the United States, at least. Tax evasion and that sort of thing.

  2. avatar Suryat

    Luckily it’s 2010 and people aren’t often randomly typing words into their browser with “.com” at the end.

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