Minneapolis, MN, January 09, 2006 --(PR.com
)-- The National Arbitration Forum announced today that a ruling has been issued in favor of heavyweight boxing champion and Olympic gold medalist George Foreman regarding the rights to georgeforemanenterprises.com.
George Foreman Ventures LLC, represented by Jeanine L. Gibbs of Wargo & French LLP, filed a complaint electronically with the National Arbitration Forum on November 17, 2005, asserting legal rights to the domain name georgeforemanenterprises.com. The panel found that the Web address was registered by the Respondent, “zinnia c/o Zinnia Gonzalez,” on August 18, 2005, and resolved to an “under construction” web page.
Ruling in George Foreman Ventures LLC’s favor, National Arbitration Forum arbitrator Hon. James A. Carmody Esq. concluded that georgeforemanenterprises.com was “confusingly similar” to the George Foreman trademark, to which George Foreman established common law rights based on his celebrity status and boxing career. Judge Carmody also ruled that the Respondent did not have legitimate rights to, or interest in, the disputed Web address. The Respondent, who did not submit a response in the case, failed to demonstrate plans to use the domain name, leading to Carmody’s finding of bad faith registration and use. The Respondent’s previous attempt to sell the domain name registration to George Foreman Ventures LLC further reinforced the bad faith finding.
The National Arbitration Forum administers more than 1,000 Internet domain dispute resolutions similar to that of George Foreman Ventures LLC each year under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). The domain name dispute resolution process is a popular alternative to lengthy and expensive trademark lawsuits.
A copy of the decision, George Foreman Ventures LLC v. zinnia c/o Zinnia Gonzalez, is available for viewing on the National Arbitration Forum website at: