Electronic Arts has lost its bid to win the domain “ssx.com” from a holdings firm that bought it up in October. While the holdings firm parked the domain and briefly served ads leading to the game — an action that EA used as the basis for its complaint — an arbitration panel didn’t see that as enough evidence of bad faith to justify turning over the domain.
The National Arbitration Forum, in its opinion, didn’t think much of either side in this case. EA complained that the company holding SSX.com, Abstract Holdings International, made no diligent effort to determine whether SSX.com was in fact someone else’s trademark. The National Arbitration Forum remarked that SSX “is perhaps a common law mark of a number of business and other entities in a number of lines of business all around the world”. However, “given the ease of searches using the common tools of the internet, how much is it to ask of a retailer like Respondent to do a little extra work?”
Abstract Holdings International paid $US200,000 for a lot of domain names, which included SSX.com. The National Arbitration Forum held its nose and said that Abstract had established rights or legitimate interests in the name.
Domain Name Wire noted that Abstract Holdings’ purchase came in October 2011. The SSX reboot was revealed (albeit under the title SSX: Deadly Descents) in December 2010. Once again, it points to the need to sew up domain names before you announce and title a hot new game.
EA loses domain dispute for SSX.com for upcoming SSX launch [Domain Name Wire]