Olympic fight : I’m not a cybersquatter, says geodomain investor

Does this domain infringe the IOC marks?

Does this domain infringe the IOC marks?

A case involving a man apparently investing in geographical domains, and the almighty International Olympic Committee is unfolding.

Stephen Frayne, Jr. of City Pure LLC, asserts that he had no ulterior motives when he registered more than 1,000 domains bearing the names of cities – plus a year suffix.

A federal judge in Houston, Texas, dismissed four of the five allegations brought forth by the International Olympic Committee, over domains that the latter claimed infringed on their trademarks.

Mr. Frayne, who “strongly opposes” the cybersquatter epithet, stated that his domain registrations are legitimate investments.

According to Houston Press, “Fayne’s attorney, Brian Hall, said Frayne purchased about 1,400 domains through his company, City Pure L.L.C., to use as a platform for citizens to discuss the merits of hosting the Olympics. In taking Frayne to court, Hall alleges the IOC is trying to silence Frayne and Olympic critics.”

The IOC isn’t buying any of this, outlining the naming convention behind its candidate host cities for the Olympic Games:

“We have a naming pattern since 1896 using a city and year date,” said James Bikoff, an attorney representing the IOC. “When someone goes out and tries to register those in advance, to preclude the committee that’s going to choose the host of the games… that’s a violation of the games and the city that will be hosting.”

Surely an interesting debate and a fight between David and Goliath, it seems.

For the full coverage of this subject, head over to Houston Press.

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