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Erstwhile "Batman" Reflects on Arbitration Forum Decision

Wednesday, May, 18, 2011

The National Arbitration Forum is often asked to decide cases of momentous import.  Whether this situation qualifies is in the eye of the beholder.  Mike Beatty, often known by the moniker DJ Batman, had registered "Batman" as a domain name years ago.  In 2004, the official owners of the "Batman" name, D.C. Comics and Warner Bros., sent him a complaint about the domain name registration.


Complaint Decided by National Arbitration Forum


Beatty responded to the complaint with a short reply denying that he had any intention of using the image of Batman as presented in comic books, television, and film.  The name was simply a nickname that had stuck to him early on during his career as a disc jockey at parties and clubs. 


Eventually, the dispute went to trademark arbitration.  The National Arbitration Forum sided with Beatty, ruling that he would be allowed to continue to use the website and domain he had founded with the "Batman" name.  However, the website was not to last.  Beatty revisited this episode from his past in comments this week, remembering, "Believe it or not, I won.”  Regarding the demise of the website, Beatty admitted, "I didn't want to make waves, so I got rid of the web site.”  The episode demonstrates that a win in arbitration does not always mean that the winner will exercise the full rights he has established.