Nissan does not own

Started by topranker, Nov 18, 2022, 03:15 AM

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Legal dispute over the domain it is rightfully considered the most famous and iconic. The story of a steadfast entrepreneur fighting against a huge corporation with limitless financial possibilities is worthy of a Hollywood film adaptation.
But I would like to look at this situation from a different angle.

How it all started
In June 1999, Renault bought out the unprofitable Nissan company and appointed Carlos Ghosn as production director, who was supposed to lead the Japanese automaker out of the crisis. A year later, Carlos Ghosn will become president of the company. In the meantime, he wonders why domain names and they belong to some computer company from the USA.

Nissan representatives contact the domain owner, who makes it clear in a veiled way that he is ready to sell the domain, but for a lot of money:
Look, I said I'm not interested, so let me answer this way: $15 million. Now do you understand that I don't want to sell?Uzi Nissan, but instead of bargaining or a purchase agreement, in December 1999, the Nissan automaker sues Nissan Computer Corp with a demand to give it domains and pay $10 million in compensation.
And here I immediately have a question, who and why made the decision to sue? The fact that Nissan Computer Corp owned a registered service mark in the computer repair class made the automaker's position very weak. The situation was further aggravated by the fact that the owner of the company had the surname Nissan. Why did someone decide that the plan to take away the domain should a person with the surname Nissan work? And all this should have happened not somewhere in West Africa, but in the USA - the country of lawyers and lawyers.

As expected, the charges of cybersquatting were immediately cut off in the first court instance. The plaintiff's tactics in the future were based on the desire to limit the use of the domain. The practice was also introduced to exhaust the defendant as much as possible, creating financial inconvenience for him. For example, a lawsuit was filed against Internet Center, Inc., which has nothing to do with the domain, but in which Uzi Nissan was a shareholder. Everything developed according to the principle of "court for the sake of court".
The automaker clearly underestimated the domain, the traffic on which was growing, and at peak times reached half a million visitors per month. The domain hosted all the information about the process and thousands of user comments with support for Nissan ultrasound. Here is the most typical of them:

My family will never buy a car from a foreign manufacturer who would not only deprive an American of his rights, but also try to mix this American with dirt with the help of lawsuits - a true reflection of the spirit of corporations!
Someone saw politics here, paying attention to the fact that Uzi Nissan comes from Jerusalem, and Carlos Ghosn is a native of Lebanon, which is at war with Israel.
The automaker was losing customer loyalty in the most desirable American market for them. Lawyers even used the loss of reputation as an argument in an effort to limit the rights of the Nissan ultrasound to the domain.

The final
Exhausting trial with many appeals even reached the Supreme Court and ended in 2008 with the defeat of the automaker. The opportunity to get a domain was lost forever. Uzi Nissan categorically ruled out the possibility of selling the domain for any money and posted a crossed-out Nissan logo on the website.
The only thing that the automaker managed to achieve was a ban on conducting commercial activities on the domain. Nissan carmaker received a trademark in the United States for the class of computer equipment and the story could be continued. But by that time, the practice of "reverse takeover" of the domain had already been recognized as unfair and claims against administrators whose domain registration date was earlier simply ceased to be accepted for consideration.
But the final denouement of this story came only last year - Carlos Ghosn was arrested, and the Nissan carmaker in its press release announced the use of the company's assets by top management for personal purposes. Carlos Ghosn and director Greg Kelly were named as the main culprit of the violations.
And now it becomes clear to me the true meaning of the phrase Nissan Ultrasound that "the intention of Nissan Motor to make this process as expensive as possible for me was obvious from the very beginning."

If the automaker paid $58 thousand to the defendant for court costs, which, according to Nissan Ultrasound, was less than 2% of all its costs for lawyers (i.e. approximately $3 million), then how much was spent by the automaker itself? I think it's tens of millions of dollars. This money would have been more than enough to buy out the domain without too much noise and lawsuits back in 1999.
 But it was decided to get involved in unpromising litigation. Perhaps the true goal was not to get the domain as soon as possible, but the process itself with the participation of expensive lawyers. The goals of managers do not always coincide with the goals of companies, and business owners need to understand this when they receive proposals to start dubious lawsuits with an unobvious result.
Now the domain receives up to 360 thousand visitors per month. And 95% of the traffic is not SEO or advertising, but direct visits. The official website of the automaker has traffic only 2-3 times higher. I show these statistics when they tell me that "the domain does not affect anything.

The history of the Nissan ultrasound is recognized as a textbook and is studied in many law universities. Nissan has set a precedent that has shown that even a well-known global company with a huge number of lawyers can be rebuffed. Now companies go to court and win only if they can prove that there was a fact of using the domain in relation to goods for the individualization of which their trademark is registered or there is an unfair use. In all other cases, issues are resolved through negotiations, and as a result, we are not currently seeing court cases that are at least a little comparable in scale to the case. , although the volume of domain registrations has increased many times over the past twenty years.
The most interesting thing is that the domain I was absolutely free to register for nine years from 1985 to 1994. It was possible to simply register it in advance, as was done, for example, in Ford with a domain in 1988. But the concern's analysts did not appreciate the prospects of Internet technologies and this story was able to take place.


I don't understand at all... on what grounds is it possible to sue the domain from the owner who pays for it?
Well, the name matches and what? From what day, companies, with their naming, are legally issued a domain?
I have a domain for 10-12 years. Tomorrow some $rich_man$ will name his office in a similar way and pull my website (through the court) if my last name does not look like the domain name? What the fuck?

The most interesting thing is that really fraudulent sites and applications created with names that are almost identical to well-known companies (with a difference of one or two characters) and with almost the same design as they have, precisely in order to breed people and lure their money and card/document data - they are not immediately banned, even after official complaints, and the original companies themselves do not seem to be particularly interested in monitoring and stopping it at the early stages, until people start complaining masse.