1. Nissan Motor Company is concerned about the use of the domain names Nissan. com and Nissan. net because they do not want potential customers to miss finding their site. They feel the name Nissan is associated with their company, that they could lose sales by having a domain name other than nissan. com or nissan. net. However I do not feel that a $10 million dollar judgment is justified. Even if customers will not find Nissan immediately upon using the above domain names, they can use Google or Bing to find the domain name.
At this stage of internet use, I think that most users would attempt to find Nissan Motor Company using a search engine. Nissans concern over Uzi Nissans use of the name and websites has to do with brand management. Nissan (Auto Company) feels that by Uzi using the name for his consultant and import/export business, this will confuse consumers that are using the web as a source of information when searching for a car. With most other large auto industry’s-their brand name is also the selling point for the web.
When a consumer shopping for a car want to visit Honda, or Toyota, or BMW’s site- you are immediately taken there just by entering in the information to the URL. Nissan. com takes you to Uzi Nissan’s site and to the ongoing issues of the law suit. Nissan Motor feels that Uzi is diluting the Nissan Auto Brand. The error made by Nissan was not purchasing the domain name immediately, however if you do a Google search on Nissan, the website that shows up is Nissanusa. com. The $10 million, in my opinion is really not justifiable.
I understand that if Nissan were to obtain the rights to the sites that Uzi has obtained then a change in online branding will need to occur but the justification for that amount is not there. C1. Nissan. com 2. In Uzi Nissans defense, he was granted the rights to use his name to start his online business. This is a direct quote “In December 1987, I started an import/export business known as “Nissan International” At that time, Nissan Motor was not well known as Nissan, but primarily as “DATSUN”. As with the earlier business, I chose to use Nissan in my business name because it was my last name. the domain was registered and promoted as being an internet/computer service provider. Nissan, had done what he felt was right-purchasing and registering the domain names. I do not feel that he has violated any cyber squatting laws, and if he chooses not to sell the names to Nissan Auto Company, he is within his rights. Uzi Nissan feels he should be allowed to use his family name as a domain name. He purchased the name nissan. com in 1994 and nissan. net in 1996. The name Nissan is a common surname in the Middle East. It is apparent that Mr. Nissan is acting in good faith.
He is not attempting to cyber squat, which is evident by his not attempting to sell the domains to Nissan Motor Company. 3. Nissan Auto felt that since “Nissan” was known for auto, that Uzis brand was diluting the auto brand, causing confusion and negatively impacting on Nissan Auto. However, Nissan as the large industry that it is should have been on the ball when registering domain names. Also-they should have originally followed up with their lawyers cist and desist order instead of allowing that letter to fall through the cracks-not communicating with Uzi Nissan. Nissan Motor Company feels that Nissan Computer’s use of Nissan. om and Nissan. net will confuse the consumer. They argue that when people hear the name ‘Nissan’, they think Nissan cars and trucks. They legally offered a generous amount of C1. Nissan. com money to Nissan Computer to purchase the above domain names. In 2003, the court has ordered Nissan Computer not to use the two domain names commercial purposes, but it appears that Nissan Computer is not following this practice. Though it appears that the law suit is still going on I feel that Uzi Nissans right to use his sites, which he purchased, registered and used for his computer/Internet export /import business was not a fair decision.
His sites are not diluting Nissan Auto-In fact now with the ruling in hand it seems that the only purpose of the Nissan. com and Nissan. net sites are to inform the public about the ongoing battle between one man and a major auto company-if anything It seems to be bad publicity and Nissan Auto could have focused their energy elsewhere. 4. I do not believe this ruling is fair. I personally have come across several websites where the domain name was not the name I expected it to be, based on the company name. However, the domain name used was close enough to the company name for consumers to associate the name and the domain name.
As mentioned in item #1, with search engines such as Google and Bing being widely used, most people using the web can find a company’s website even if the domain name is not exactly the same as the company name. While there should be laws on cyber squatting, I think there should be some type of ‘grandfather’ clause on domain name registration starting with the year 1995. This grandfather clause would eliminate the type of situation that these two companies find themselves in, and thus Nissan Computer Company could use their nissan. com and nissan. net domain names.
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