Just Asking for a UDRP from the NBA
With the NBA set to announce the name of the newly relocated Oklahoma City basketball team, rumors have been circulating that the team will be named the Thunder. The rumors seem to stem from the registration of OKCThunderBasketball.com as a reason for this, although OKCBarons.com seems to be owned by a law firm in Oklahoma City.
Nonetheless, I must point out something that would seem to be asking for a UDRP. Out of curiosity, I searched for the Whois on ThunderBasketball.com, as this would seem to be a better domain name to own. The name has been registered since 2005, which would indicate the owner didn’t register the name in bad faith or to capitalize on a professional basketball team called the Thunder. Perhaps the owner’s son played for an AAU or local team called the Thunder.
However, I believe he is making a huge mistake that will surely cost him his domain name if the Oklahoma City team is renamed the Oklahoma City Thunder. The owner currently has a statement on the site: “Thunderbasketball.com For Sale… To the highest bidder. Make an offer at email@example.com”
While this certainly doesn’t show the owner intended to profit off of an NBA franchise, a UDRP panel could and probably would interpret it that way. If this isn’t damaging enough, he has an Adsense block advertising “OKC Basketball Tickets,”Sonics Fans – Hoops” and “Supersonics Ringtones.” The NBA is aware of the UDRP process, and is currently 3-1 in UDRP decisions.
There is always a fine balance between trying to sell a domain name that has become sensitive (for whatever reason) and not putting yourself at risk. It would be likely that the NBA and other fans/speculators would contact the owner in an attempt to purchase the domain name whether the owner had the statement up there or not. Putting a for sale sign up at this time is putting the domain name at serious risk.
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