Chat Roulette battle: Will the web site owners lose the trademark?
There’s an update to the ongoing battle for the Chatroulette trademark and it’s not what one would expect it to be.
Last month we wrote how the Chatroulette.com operators were a year late in applying for a trademark with the USPTO. A Swiss company applied for the mark first, despite having no ownership of the domain!
When the Chatroulette.com operators found out, it was too late: the Swiss company had been awarded the mark for “Chat Roulette” and the process of opposing the mark started.
The opposition was halted temporarily while the Chatroulette.com operators informed the USPTO that their attorney was withdrawing from the case. They were given a 30 day notice to update the attorney information, but apparently they didn’t do just that!
The USPTO notice to the Chatroulette.com operators reads as follows:
“On September 14, 2011, the Board issued an order suspending this proceeding in view of the withdrawal of opposer’s counsel on August 22, 2011. Opposer was allowed time in which to either appoint a new attorney or to state that opposer would represent itself. No appearance or other response has been received. Accordingly, opposer is allowed until thirty days from the mailing date of this order to show cause why default judgment should not be entered against opposer based on opposer’s apparent loss of interest in this case. Proceedings herein remain otherwise suspended.“
The USPTO notice is dated November 1st, in which case it remains to be seen if the Chatroulette.com operators will respond by December 1st.
If they don’t, their opposition will be denied by means of defaulting, thus losing their last chance of blocking future litigation against the domain name and web site Chatroulette.com