The company loses domain disputes over the article in the name

The Limited, a well-known US apparel maker, has recently been harassed by domain name disputes. The reason for this was ... the presence of a certain article “The” in the name of the company. In terms of language, the presence or absence of the article does not affect the meaning of the word. When resolving trademark issues, this “trifle” also, as a rule, is not paid much attention to. But in the case of The Limited, WIPO decreed otherwise.



In July of this year, The Limited filed a protest against the application for registration of a top-level domain .limited within the New gTLD program. WIPO rejected the plaintiff's claim for the reason that the domain name (limited) is different from the name of the company (The Limited). According to the commission, although the article does not affect the meaning of the word, in this case it was precisely its absence in the domain name that influenced its decision. “Limited” is a commonly used vocabulary word, but only spelling it with the article out of context (“The Limited”) gives reason to believe that we are talking about an American company and its trademark. The commission also drew attention to the fact that the company’s official website is thelimited.com, and the limited.com domain is used only for forwarding.

And recently, The Limited suffered another setback - it failed Challenge limitedcoupons.com to its owner. The motives for the commission’s decision were the same: Limited is a dictionary word, and the domain name does not contain the article “the”. There would be no particular complaints against the commission’s decision, but, firstly, the domain is clearly cybersquatter: The Limited has been actively distributing coupons for many years for a discount. Secondly, the domain owner did not even speak out in defense of his rights - he did not respond to the complaint from The Limited at all. In such cases, the decision is almost always made in favor of the plaintiff, with the exception of completely unfounded claims.

Few could have suggested that the article in the name of the company could create so many problems when promoting it on the Internet. In this regard, one cannot fail to note the decision of the founder of the social network Facebook Mark Zuckerberg, who at one time got rid of the article in the name of his company and in its domain name. The social network was originally called The Facebook, and it was hosted at www.thefacebook.com .