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Fake Squire Patton Boggs website given court approval in bizarre decision

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A training contract at squirepattonboggs.net may differ somewhat to scheme at squirepattonboggs.com

Screenshot taken from squirepattonboggs.net

Chinese copyright chiefs have given the thumbs up to squirepattonboggs.net — a website that seems to be a blatant attempt to rip off the well known international law firm Squire Patton Boggs (which itself resides at squirepattonboggs.com).

In a bizarre decision handed down by the Asian Domain Name Dispute Resolution Center (ADNDRC), a panel of one managed to overlook the fact that Qinhuangdao Hongshun, the Chinese company which owns squirepattonboggs.net, has got nothing to do with Squire Patton Boggs, and backed its use of the domain.

Legal Cheek understands that Chinese copyright law isn’t big on common sense, and ruled in favour of Qinhuangdao Hongshun because it registered squirepattonboggs.net before Squire Patton Boggs filed its own trademark application in China.

A clue to Qinhuangdao Hongshun’s possible intentions lies in documents filed to the ADNDRC by Squire Patton Boggs, which state that it had asked the top law firm for $450,000 (£333,000) in exchange for the transfer of squirepattonboggs.net.

Happily, Qinhuangdao Hongshun’s win seems set to be temporary. Squire Patton Boggs has released this statement on the matter:

The ADNDRC decision simply pushes the resolution of the domain dispute to a later time when the currently pending trademark invalidation proceedings will be concluded.

Readers fluent in Mandarin can read the decision on the ADNDRC’s website.

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8 Comments

Anonymous

Fascinating news.

Anonymous

What a terrific pinch of RollOnFriday.

Smashing good work Alex, doing mumma proud!

Anonymous

It would seem this first appeared here http://www.law.com/sites/almstaff/2017/09/13/squire-patton-boggs-loses-claim-to-domain-name/ So by your logic it was “pinched” from them. Don’t journalists report on news broken elsewhere all the time?

Anonymous

Hi Alex.

failedbarrister

Articles misses the best part of the fake SPB website… the entire front page has FAQ’s about how to protect your IP in China….

Anonymous

I seem to recall that this sort of dispute was quite common in the early 90s when quick-thinking kids bought domain names for popular things and then got forced to hand them over to the companies concerned.

That said, I’ve heard that pupillage differs quite considerably between http://www.4kbw.co.uk and http://www.4kbw.net too…

Pantman

This has nothing to do with copyright. It’s a domain name dispute, linked to a trade mark dispute. I also doubt that the ADNDRC has the final say in this, because .net is a top level domain and not within its control. Ultimately WIPO can become involved:

http://www.wipo.int/amc/en/domains/

Anonymous

https://baike.baidu.com/item/%E8%96%9B%E8%99%B9/9967048
The panelist Hong Xue SJD, professor at Beijing Normal University. plus other ip roles around the world

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