WASHINGTON, D.C., July 31, 2007 – The Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), which was created by Congress to maintain a special reserve fund to help investors at bankrupt brokerage firms, announced today that it has prevailed in arbitration proceedings that have resulted in it gaining control of the www.sipc.com Web domain.
In May 2007, SIPC initiated a National Arbitration Forum proceeding against California-based SeriousNet over the domain name www.sipc.com. In seeking to have registration of the domain name transferred to it, SIPC argued that SeriousNet had violated SIPC’s service registration with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office of the acronym “SIPC” and of SIPC’s official symbol, which contains the SIPC acronym.
Attorneys for the Securities Investor Protection Corporation noted that the www.sipc.com domain was registered by SeriousNet, without authorization from SIPC, approximately 18 months after SIPC registered its service marks with the Patent and Trademark Office. On April 12, 2007, counsel for SIPC demanded that SeriousNet cease and desist from its use of sipc.com and that it transfer the registration of the domain name to SIPC.
In its findings, the National Arbitration Forum panel agreed with SIPC: “1- The disputed domain name sipc.com is identical or confusingly similar to a Trademark or service mark in which SIPC has rights; 2- SeriousNet has no rights or legitimate interests with respect of the disputed domain name sipc.com; 3- The disputed domain name sipc.com has been registered and is being used in bad faith.”
SIPC President Stephen Harbeck said: “This proceeding should make it very clear that we intend to fully protect our name against any attempt to divert traffic from our Web site or create other confusion in the minds of investors. SIPC plays a critical role and we do not intend to allow any party to make it more difficult for investors to get the help that they need.”
For the National Arbitration Forum finding in the case, please go to http://domains.adrforum.com/domains/decisions/982722.htm.