Any dispute would most likely be brought under the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP), which is a process established by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) for the resolution of disputes regarding the registration of internet domain names. The full rules of the UDRP can be found here.
The following four circumstances would show a person registering a domain name had done so in bad faith. These are situations you would want to avoid so that no claims of bad faith could be alleged against you.
(i) circumstances indicating that you have registered or you have acquired the domain name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the domain name registration to the complainant who is the owner of the trademark or service mark or to a competitor of that complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of your documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name; or
(ii) you have registered the domain name in order to prevent the owner of the trademark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name, provided that you have engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or
(iii) you have registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or
(iv) by using the domain name, you have intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to your website or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of your website or location or of a product or service on your website or location.”
The following circumstances can be used to argue that you are not in violation of any trademark owner’s rights and can keep the domain name. Section iii would be the most applicable.
(i) before any notice to you of the dispute, your use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the domain name or a name corresponding to the domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services; or
(ii) you (as an individual, business, or other organization) have been commonly known by the domain name, even if you have acquired no trademark or service mark rights; or
(iii) you are making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark or service mark at issue.”
The right to express opinions or criticism is generally considered to fall under the “fair use” definition of section (iii). However, certain decisions have taken the view that “there is a clear distinction between a right to express critical views and freedom of speech, and a right or legitimate interest in respect of a domain name which is identical to a complainant’s trademark. The Respondent’s right of free speech can be exercised by using a domain name which suggests very clearly to visitors the content and intent of the website thereby obviating any risk of deception.”
The safest approach in your case would be to have a non-commercial site that invokes the trademarked name in the domain but also has the additional language to identify the purpose of the site.
THIS SITE IS FOR NON COMMERCIAL USE AND IS USED FOR EXPERIMENTAL ARTISTIC PURPOSES RELATED TO FRIEZE CARPET AND OTHER FRIEZES BUT NOT THE FRIEZE ART FAIR BRAND.
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