Thursday, February 04, 2010

UK Blog Threatened by Politico.com

Politico.com is a sort of US Total Politics/Politics Home writ large. It provides an excellent political news and comment service, with its columnist appearing regularly as pundits across the US media. In a very short time it has started to rival the big news organisations in the States.

Today, it is trying to shut down a relatively obscure UK Political blog called Tory Politico, on the basis that it is stealing the name Politico. To write a very threatening legal letter to an individual blogger who has perhaps 500 hits a day, seems to be rather OTT.

Tory Politico is, to his credit, so far resisting the threats, but it is not a pleasant position to be in.

It's funny, because when I owned Politico's Bookstore & Publishing and I saw Politico has started in the States, I too thought about sendimg them a legal letter accusing them of stealing the name. But I thought better of it. They were there and we were here. What a pity wiser counsel didn't prevail in the legal offices of Politico.com vis a vis Tory Politico.

Tory Politico has the full story HERE.

UPDATE: One of my Twitter followers has discovered that I still own the Politico's Trademark. I have suggested to Tory Politico that he adds an 's' onto the end of his name!

15 comments:

javelin said...

Obviously thinking of starting a website in the UK. Typical American legal crap. No UK judge is going to credit them. All they are doing is dragging their own name through the mud. If they did start a website up I would be boycott it.

Tell them it's your name (before Tory Politico does) and you want £50K. An entrepeneur you ain't.

David Farrar said...

There is a Kiwi Politico also - wonder if they will get a nastygram also.

Botogol said...

it would be a nice idea if 100s of people now registered domains with politico in, and started writing a political blogs.

longrun2 said...

Surely their trademark is invalid in the UK on grounds of prior use?
You could have claimed, if you wanted to do so, that tory-politico was confusing as you are a tory but Capitol News is two centuries behind the times if they think there are tories in the USA
javelin is too cheap: didn't the original Kingfisher plc get over £1m from Woolworth's to allow them to steal its name? You should ask them for retuirn of the name or $1m

Daily Referendum said...

I now have a lovely new blog called "Politicon.blogspot". I believe that "Politicopoliticopolitico" is still available.

albertmbankment said...

I've pointed out to Tory Politico that the name of the firm of weasels who wrote this letter is Dow Lohnes. I have no doubt that Dow Jones & Company (owned by the mighty News Corporation) would be appalled that the integrity of their good name and trademark is being prostituted in this scurrilous fashion!

titus-aduxas said...

Iain,

write the lawyers a cease and desist letter as you are the owner of the Politico's brand and their client's is much too similar. You want $10 million in damages from the owners of politico for infringement and another $50 million from the lawyers for malicious abuse of your trade mark.

You have to make the numbers big in the USA.

BOF2BS said...

From a quick look it appears that politico is not a UK registered TM.

So in addition to pursing Titus's excellent suggestion perhaps Iain & Tory Politico could come to a commercial arrangement to enable the current trademark registration of politico in the UK.

Hermeneuticals said...

see this link

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/Examiner-Opinion-Zone/Politico-accuses-The-College-Politico-of-trademark-infringement.html

They've done this before in the States with some success. There is no way a suit against them would work. Wether they have an international claim remains toi be seen. Where is Tory Politico's website actually parked? If its an American company (like Network Solutions) he could be in trouble.

charles hercock said...

Very keen on a fight with these folk.How can we help

boggartblog said...

There is a worrying trend in America of trying to copyright words. I don't know if "politico" is a real wordbut it has been in use here a lot longer than Politico.com has existed.

Reminds me of a story I covered in my satirical blog about the producers of Sex and the City suing every businness start that used "and the city" in its name. A pet shop calkled Pets And The City was one example.
Shite And The City

Ian said...

I believe a response similar to that the defendents used in the case Arkell v Pressdram would be appropriate

Lola said...

The Americans are not free traders at all. They are latently protectionist and mercantilsit. No suprise about 'politico' dispute.

Michael J said...

Just because Blier followed Bush like a lap dog, does no mean that the rest of us will.

Stand your ground and have courage

DaveM said...

No, Iain - don't offer to sell your trade mark to them. That's evidence of bad faith. Instead transfer it to Tory Politico to beef up its defence.

The .com Uniform Domain Name Resolution Policy says:

"a. Applicable Disputes. You are required to submit to a mandatory administrative proceeding in the event that a third party (a "complainant") asserts to the applicable Provider, in compliance with the Rules of Procedure, that

(i) your domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights; and

(ii) you have no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and

(iii) your domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

In the administrative proceeding, the complainant must prove that each of these three elements are present."

So Tory Politico, if taken to an UDRP arbitration process, should issue its own claim against Politico, based on its own prior use of the Tory Politico brand and its ownership of the Politico's registered trade mark, claiming that the Politico domain name
was registered in bad faith too - if the arbitration tribunal finds against it on the Tory Politico domain name - so threatening Mutual Assured Destruction. Politico should go away at that point.

I suggest that TP gets legal advice from a lawyer competent in the area, since what he says now in response is going to be very important in any arbitration and could lose him the domain name if he gets it wrong.

Sorry for the length of this post.

Iain: I hope you have made genuine used the mark in the last 5 years otherwise it could be struck off the Register if someone applies to the Registrar.