Take-Two Loses BioShock Domain Name Fight

August 25, 2010 -

Take-Two Interactive fought the good fight but failed to prevail in a lawsuit against a company that specializes in domain squatting - the practice of buying up and sitting on domains for potentially popular products. A company called NA Media grabbed the domain name in early 2004 after word slipped out that BioShock was in the works at Irrational Games. Unfortunately for Take-Two, the company hadn't trademarked "BioShock" before NA Media registered "www.bioshock.com."

That had a profound impact on Take-Two's court case, according to Gamer/Law, which reported today that the company had lost in court. The simple fact that Take-Two hadn't managed to register the trademarks at the time of the URL's registration really weakened the publisher's case, but Name Administration also argued in court that Bioshock had other meanings separate from Take-Two's business - even citing interest from Johnson & Johnson to use it for some odd line of skincare products.

While Take-Two tried to argue that NA Media had a history of squatting on its domains, having once registered taketwointeractive.com (later handed over to Take-Two). NA Media countered that at the time of the unofficial announcement and the subsequent grab of the domain, Take-Two was not openly associated with BioShock. Bioshock2.com is currently in a similar situation, but Irrational Games has secured Bioshockinfinite.com for its next game in the series.


Comments

Re: Take-Two Loses BioShock Domain Name Fight

All companies have to do is refuse to pay anything more a grand or two for a domain and people will lose interest. I know this can mean a bit of lost traffic, but especially in the case of Bioshock, how much traffic do you need for a game to still sell? I nearly never go a game's website even for patches. The only game sites I have visited in recent memory are Elemental: Magic whateva, and Bethesda's Oblivion page.

Re: Take-Two Loses BioShock Domain Name Fight

Well, the squatters still profit off people looking for the game's site and landing on their's instead thus driving up revenue.

There is also the prinicple of the matter... someone, after getting inside information, took thier IP and tried to get them to pay for it.  There is supposed to be a process for resolving names registered in bad faith (which used to be easily abused) but I guess the pendulum has swung the other way.

Re: Take-Two Loses BioShock Domain Name Fight

Given how lopsided domain name resolutions are... this really surprises me.  Have they reformed the system or something?

 
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Montewell thanks for the info Eisen; try that the next time i need something off the eshop09/23/2014 - 3:54pm
james_fudgere: MP, i've sent tech support a note - thank you :)09/23/2014 - 3:14pm
IanCNah that wasnt directed at you Andrew :)09/23/2014 - 3:00pm
Papa MidnightRe: SIEGE 2014 Keynote: oh dear...09/23/2014 - 2:44pm
MaskedPixelanteDear GP, something called "doubleverify" is causing some nasty browser issues on my end. Probably one of your ads.09/23/2014 - 2:36pm
Andrew EisenOh hell no. No, it took Nintendo a dog's age just to get to the point its competitors have been at for a while! (And it's still not there yet, in a lot of respects.)09/23/2014 - 2:26pm
IanCSame as PSN handles it, fi you are trying to say only nintendo do that.09/23/2014 - 2:23pm
Andrew EisenYou have to try to purchase something first. Pick a game, hit purchase and if your wallet doesn't have enough to cover it, you'll be given an option to "add exact funds" or something like that.09/23/2014 - 2:05pm
MonteI have seen no option for that on my 3DS; anytime i want to add funds it only gives me the option to add in denominations of $10, 20, 50 or 10009/23/2014 - 2:03pm
IanCWhat Andrew Wilson said. PSN is the same when you make a purchase over a certain price (£5 in the UK)09/23/2014 - 2:02pm
Andrew EisenNeither eShop charges sales tax either. At least in California.09/23/2014 - 2:00pm
Andrew EisenBoth Wii U and 3DS eShops allow you to add funds in the exact amount of whatever's in your shopping cart. If your game is $39.99, you can add exactly $39.99.09/23/2014 - 1:57pm
Infophile@Matthew Wilson: As I understand it, any regulations to force tax online would also set up an easy database for these stores to use, minimizing overhead.09/23/2014 - 1:30pm
MonteReally, the eshop just does next to nothing to make buying digitally advantagous for the customer. Its nice to have the game on my 3DS, but i can get more for less buying a physical copy at retail. And that's not even counting buying used09/23/2014 - 1:18pm
MonteIanC, The Eshop wallet system only lets you add funds in set denominations and the tax makes sure you no longer have round numbers so you ALWAYS loose money. A $39.99 game for instance requires you to add $50 instead of just $4009/23/2014 - 1:13pm
Matthew Wilsonbut thats just it those sites, even the small ones, sell all over the country.09/23/2014 - 11:12am
Neenekoeither that or it would follow the car model of today. big ticket items are taxed according to your residence, not where you buy them.09/23/2014 - 11:07am
NeenekoI doubt it would be the retailer that handles the tax in the first place. If it goes through it would probably be folded in as a service on the processor end or via 'turbotax' style applications.09/23/2014 - 11:05am
Matthew Wilsonsimple there are over 10k tax areas in the us for sales tax. it would be impossible for small online retailers to handle that.09/23/2014 - 10:55am
IanCWhats wrong with charging tax in an online shop?09/23/2014 - 10:47am
 

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