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 National Arbitration Forum: Yahoo! v. Bill Skipton

Complainant Yahoo! Inc. commenced an action against Respondent, Bill Skipton, asserting that Respondentís "yprog.com" domain name was confusingly similar to Complainantís Y! mark. Respondent was using the disputed domain name to sell software designed to hack into Complainantís Yahoo! Messenger software. The Panel noted that the only similarity between Complainantís Y! mark and the "yprog.com" domain name was the letter ďy,Ē which was insufficient to satisfy the first element of the Policy.  "...Thus reduced, this proceeding presents what appears to be a novel proposition, which is that a single letter of the English alphabet, in this instance the letter Y, may ground a claim of confusing similarity within the meaning of Policy... Complainant argues, in essence, that Y can only stand for Y!.  But Y is not Y!.  It is no more than a literal truth that the expressive punctuation for which Complainant is well known is fully half its mark. And, as was noted in Entrepreneur Media, supra, small differences matter.  Indeed, without the exclamation mark, Y is just Y.  It could as easily stand for the chemical element yttrium, or instead for YMCA, or, particularly aptly here, an unknown quantity."

 

 

 

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