Politico sues politico
Cease and desist nonsense du jour
UK right-wing blog Tory-Politico.com has been hit with a cease and desist order from US site politico.com.
The lawyer's letter claims the domain name is "confusingly similar to the POLITICO mark in that it wholly incorporates the "Politico" mark and merely adds the descriptive word 'tory' to the Domain Name."
Even stranger, the ambulance chasers then use Alexa.com rankings to claim that as only 57.3 per cent of its traffic comes from the UK, much of its remaining visitors must be from the US.
Capitol News, the owners of Politico.com, which has been covering the US political scene since 2007, demands an end of all use of the name Tory Politico and transfer of the domain within ten days.
Jason Brown, founder and editor of Tory Politico, told The Reg: "We have been online since March last year. I was well aware of politico.com, and of Politico Publishing - a UK firm and of course its wider use as a normal word. I'm refusing to change the domain or hand it over to them. I imagine they will escalate this. I would like to take it to ICANN arbitration rather than pay a fortune in legal fees."
The site disputes Alexa's figures, preferring Google Analytics, which reckons their readers are 85 per cent UK based and 5 per cent from the US.
Brown ends by warning Soho Politico.com - which describes itself as: "Gay male, mid-twenties, living in London's Soho. I blog on UK politics from a left-liberal perspective, and on LGBT issues" - to watch out for a similar legal letter. ®
Brown's full post is here.
Just for reference, The Oxford American Desk Dictionary and Thesarus (2001 edition) gives the defintion of politico as: noun, colloquial, politician.
I've seen Alexa's information about my site, and some of the pretenders too. The information tends to only agree on my site not being ranked in the top 10,000. You can probably add another few zeroes to that. :-)
What I'd like to know - how the hell does Alexa (etc) get their information? Is this the result of stuff like google-analytics?
Over here in the UK things are very different so they really would be better off making sure that they move the registration to the UK and make sure it's hosted here too.
As I understand UK trademartk law as long as they are not guilty of "passing off" (that is purporting to have something to do with politico.com) then they will be safe.
Sorry about this one mates.
I'm not so sure this one is a case of bullying. Trademark laws on this side of the pond are insane, and if you don't make legal moves to protect your trademark you lose it. So it is possible that politco.com doesn't give a whit one way or the other about the results of the case, just so long as their mark in The States is protected.
Of course, it also isn't obvious that it isn't a case of bullying. And that alone ought to be enough to get the law changed, but that's rather more difficult when the ones making the laws are the ones profiting from them.