Company Fights Over NH Trademark: Mount Washington

Domain Name Implications as Company Fights Over New Hampshire Geographical Trademark: Mount Washington

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Mount Washington in New Hampshire

I grew up in southern New Hampshire and I skied in NH’s White Mountains many times, so this story was interesting for business and personal reasons. It’s also something that Dark Blue Sea should note because of a domain name in its portfolio.

According to ABC television affiliate WMUR, it looks like the owner of the Mt. Washington Hotel (a landmark hotel in the region) is fighting to prevent other lodging businesses from using the term, “Mount Washington.” The interesting aspect of this is that there is a mountain called Mount Washington where the hotels are located, hence the geographical descriptor.

If you live on the East Coast, you’ve probably seen the bumper stickers that say, “This car has climbed Mt. Washington,” and that’s the term that is being battled for right now (specifically related to lodging according to the article).

One reason this is interesting from a domain standpoint is that the company could come after seemingly generic domain names like MountWashingtonHotels.com, which happens to be owned by DBS subsidiary Protopixel.

Although Mt. Washington isn’t that big, imagine if a hotel/resort named the  the Las Vegas Resort or the Europe Spa tried to trademark those regional terms with regards to lodging. High value domain names like LasVegasHotels.com or EuropeVacations.com could conceivably come under pressure from the trademark owner if they were permitted to do so.

This may be a big leap, but if a precedent is set legally, I am sure others will attempt to follow suit. It’s just some food for thought.

Photo: Flickr


About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.


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Comments (3)

    NetJohn

    Super scoop Elliot !

    The implications and potential ‘earth-shaking” ramifications of this and similar scenarios could really rock & worry many more owners/registrants of GEO domains . Trademark law’s impact on domains is certainly getting to be a hotter issue incrementally.

    November 12th, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    Pat

    There’s a Mount Washington in Pittsburgh, where I live, and a bunch of other ones according to these guys…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Washington

    November 12th, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    Marcia Lynn

    Unfortunately, I believe this legal precedent regarding geo accommodations was already set by BocaResorts.com:

    http://www.wipo.int/amc/en/domains/decisions/html/2005/d2005-0681.html

    November 12th, 2010 at 3:19 pm

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