Take-Two Loses BioShock Domain Name Fight

August 25, 2010 -

Take-Two Interactive fought the good fight but failed to prevail in a lawsuit against a company that specializes in domain squatting - the practice of buying up and sitting on domains for potentially popular products. A company called NA Media grabbed the domain name in early 2004 after word slipped out that BioShock was in the works at Irrational Games. Unfortunately for Take-Two, the company hadn't trademarked "BioShock" before NA Media registered "www.bioshock.com."

That had a profound impact on Take-Two's court case, according to Gamer/Law, which reported today that the company had lost in court. The simple fact that Take-Two hadn't managed to register the trademarks at the time of the URL's registration really weakened the publisher's case, but Name Administration also argued in court that Bioshock had other meanings separate from Take-Two's business - even citing interest from Johnson & Johnson to use it for some odd line of skincare products.

While Take-Two tried to argue that NA Media had a history of squatting on its domains, having once registered taketwointeractive.com (later handed over to Take-Two). NA Media countered that at the time of the unofficial announcement and the subsequent grab of the domain, Take-Two was not openly associated with BioShock. Bioshock2.com is currently in a similar situation, but Irrational Games has secured Bioshockinfinite.com for its next game in the series.


Comments

Re: Take-Two Loses BioShock Domain Name Fight

All companies have to do is refuse to pay anything more a grand or two for a domain and people will lose interest. I know this can mean a bit of lost traffic, but especially in the case of Bioshock, how much traffic do you need for a game to still sell? I nearly never go a game's website even for patches. The only game sites I have visited in recent memory are Elemental: Magic whateva, and Bethesda's Oblivion page.

Re: Take-Two Loses BioShock Domain Name Fight

Well, the squatters still profit off people looking for the game's site and landing on their's instead thus driving up revenue.

There is also the prinicple of the matter... someone, after getting inside information, took thier IP and tried to get them to pay for it.  There is supposed to be a process for resolving names registered in bad faith (which used to be easily abused) but I guess the pendulum has swung the other way.

Re: Take-Two Loses BioShock Domain Name Fight

Given how lopsided domain name resolutions are... this really surprises me.  Have they reformed the system or something?

 
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