Subway in foot long trouble

03 06 2010

Doctor’s Associates Inc, which operate and franchise Subway stores, is red faced after losing a domain name dispute over

The recent decision is a set back for the sandwich chain as they may have lost the battle due to their lawyers failing to do their homework. The Panel held that Subway’s lawyers failed to provide enough evidence to prove that the website was confusingly similar to the SUBWAY trade marks. They provided no explanation or argument as to why the phrase “mysubwayrewards” in the domain name may be confused with the mark SUBWAY.

This seems like an easy enough thing to do right? But it appears that the lawyers got lazy and assumed that they already had the cat in the bag by identifying the name as confusing. They omitted to then take the necessary step of proving how and why.

The Panel highlighted that due to the fact that the word SUBWAY was bracketed between other words which could quite conceivably be used in combination to convey a meaning unassociated with the SUBWAY mark, it becomes necessary to sufficiently demonstrate identity or confusing similarity to the trademark at issue.

This is an example which shows why trademark and domain name owners should carefully select lawyers who understand the UDRP and auDRP processes, and who regularly undertake this type of work, like Cooper Mills Lawyers.

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