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Gripe Sites and Fair Use

Published in Managing Intellectual Property
Article | October 2006

Individuals interested in creating an online forum to voice criticism about a particular company’s product or service offering often register domain names which incorporate a company’s trade mark to be used as so-called gripe sites. These individuals typically claim that their use of a third party’s trade mark as part of a domain name constitutes a fair use of that trade mark, thereby creating a legitimate non-commercial interest for the domain name registrant in owning the domain name at issue.

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