Superman's Domain Name Decided via National Arbitration
The National Arbitration Forum has issued a decision in a domain name dispute involving keywords related to the comic book hero Superman. The ManofSteel.com domain name was registered in October, 2001 by LBR Enterprises, two years after DC Comic registered a trademark for the phrase "Man of Steel." DC comics had more than a decade earlier trademarked the phrase "The Man of Steel."
National Arbitration Forum Sides with DC Comics
An arbitration attorney ordered that control of the domain name ManofSteel.com be transferred to DC Comics. Industry insiders speculate that the site will host materials related to the launch of a new Superman movie slated to be released by Warner Bros. The arbitration panel found that the ManofSteel.com domain had been registered in bad faith; "cybersquatting" of significant domain names has been a problem since the beginning of the Internet Age.
LBR Enterprises did not respond to DC's complaint.
In an interesting twist, the internet domain TheManofSteel.com is also under the control of a party unaffiliated with either Warner Bros. or DC Comics. It is currently available for sale for $300, but there has been no word of any interested buyers.
Intellectual property arbitration can settle domain name disputes and is also a means of resolving arguments over patents, copyrights, and trademarks.