Pearl Jam, A General Partnership, represented by Leslie C. Ruiter of Stokes Lawrence, P.S., filed a complaint electronically with the National Arbitration Forum on November 8, 2005, asserting legal rights to the domain name pearljams.com. The address was registered with Domain Systems, Inc. by the Respondent, Vertical Axis, Inc. c/o Domain Administrator, on August 25, 2005. The panel found that the domain was being used without permission to refer Internet users to a variety of commercial web sites unrelated to Pearl Jam, including links to “Sponsored Results for Eddie Vedder,” “Eddie Vedder at Amazon.com, Pearl Jam and Eddie Vedder-$9.99 and Eddie Vedder on Yahoo!® Music,” and, later, to categorized links, including links to “Freshwater Pearl,” “Jam,” and “Eddie Vedder,” as well as “chess,” “music,” “Fischer,” “ICC,” and “Blitz.”
Ruling in Pearl Jam’s favor, National Arbitration Forum arbitrator Bruce E. Meyerson concluded that pearljams.com was “confusingly similar” to the PEARL JAM trademark, which was registered on August 15, 1995 with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Meyerson also found that Vertical Axis, Inc. did not have legitimate rights to, or interest in, the disputed Web address, and was using the address in bad faith for its own commercial gain. Vertical Axis, Inc. did not submit a response in the case.
The National Arbitration Forum administers more than 1,000 Internet domain dispute resolutions similar to that of the Pearl Jam dispute 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, Pearl Jam, A General Partnership v. Vertical Axis, Inc. c/o Domain Administrator, is available for viewing on the National Arbitration Forum website.
About the National Arbitration Forum
The National Arbitration Forum (arb-forum.com) is one of the world's leading providers of alternative dispute resolution solutions, including arbitration and mediation, representing a distinguished panel of over 1,500 attorneys and retired judges in the U.S. and in 29 countries. Founded in 1986, the National Arbitration Forum administers more than 50,000 cases annually. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the National Arbitration Forum also has offices located in New Jersey and Los Angeles.