Hey, Hey, Hey! It’s Trademark Infringement!

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Bill Cosby has successfully wrested control of a domain name mentioning “Fat Albert” from a cybersquatter who was allegedly using it to divert Internet traffic for commercial purposes. Those who searched for and clicked on www.fatalbert.org (for whatever reason they might have been doing that) were taken not to the page of an organization devoted to Fat Albert, but to a page bearing only a story about a bear nicknamed “Fat Albert,” and were then diverted to commercial and/or sexually explicit websites.

Cosby filed a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization after learning of the infringement. The man who registered the name did not respond to the complaint. The WIPO arbitrator found that the domain name, fatalbert, “was identical or confusingly similar” to “Fat Albert,” which seems hard to dispute. He awarded control of the domain to Cosby, although when I checked it just now it had the stupid bear story still on there (I left before I could get diverted to anything immoral, of course).

Various real celebrities have gone through a similar process to retrieve their Internet names, including Madonna, Pierce Brosnan and Carmen Electra. It is good to know that Carmen Electra has at least some intellectual property.

AP via FindLaw.com
Wikipedia entry for Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids