Grammy award-winning musician and entertainer Stevland Morris (known by the stage name Stevie Wonder) successfully defended his trademark in arbitration following the discovery that stevie-wonder.com was being used by another party.
Stevland Morris a/k/a Stevie Wonder filed a complaint electronically with the National Arbitration Forum asserting legal rights to the domain name stevie-wonder.com. The arbitrator found that the domain name was registered by the Respondent, Lad, on April 27, 2000, and resolved to a web page featuring information about the famed musician as well as links to various competing and non-competing commercial websites.
Ruling in Stevie Wonder’s favor, the National Arbitration Forum arbitrator concluded that Wonder had established common law rights in the STEVIE WONDER trademark based on Wonder’s 40+ years of celebrated composing, recording and performing. The arbitrator ruled that stevie-wonder.com was “confusingly similar” to the STEVIE WONDER trademark and that the Respondent registered and used the domain name in bad faith by incorporating the trademark without Wonder’s permission or consent. The arbitrator further ruled that the Respondent, who did not submit a response in the case, lacked legitimate rights to, or interest in, the disputed domain name, and ordered that it be transferred to Wonder.
The decision was reached in accordance with the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a popular alternative to lengthy and expensive trademark lawsuits. The National Arbitration Forum administers more than 1,000 Internet domain dispute resolutions like that of Stevie Wonder each year.
A copy of the decision, Stevland Morris a/k/a Stevie Wonder v. Lad, 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.