URL awarded to Activision

Earlier this summer, the URL was occupied by a web site created by someone who didn't care for Activision's Call of Duty first person shooter series. At one point people who surfed to that address were then redirected to the official web site of Battlefield 3, a rival military shooter coming from publisher Electronic Arts. That was apparently the last straw for Activision and in July the publisher filed to dispute the ownership of to the National Arbitration Forum.

This week, as reported by Fusible, the National Arbitration Forum has rendered its judgment and agreed with Activision's side of the story. The forum has ordered the web site be transferred to the publisher. The previous owner of the URL, Anthony Abraham, tried to argue that the term "modern warfare" was "generic" and as such could not be "monopolized" by Activision. However, the three member panel disagreed, saying that Activision had proven that the company had "substantial use and reputation" over the Modern Warfare phrase. The board also felt that Abraham knew that Activision owned a trademark for Modern Warfare and "had it in mind at a time when the website corresponding with the disputed domain name was created."  Finally the fact that the site at one time redirected visitors to the official site showed that Abraham "used the domain name in bad faith".

Call of Duty Modern: Warfare 3, co-developed by Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games, is scheduled to be released by Activision for the PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 on November 8.

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