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Franchisors Need to Add Domain Name Rules to Contracts

March 26, 2010Domaining, Domainnamewire, franchise domain dispute, Policy & Law, udrpComments Off on Franchisors Need to Add Domain Name Rules to Contracts

Domain disputes common with franchises.

I often see domain name disputes between franchisors and franchisees when it comes to domain names. These usually resolve around two issues:

1. Franchisor doesn’t want franchisee to register a domain name using the franchise trademarks
2. When a franchise agreement is terminated, the franchisor wants the domain name back/terminated

Here’s a case in point. Re-Bath LLC recently filed a domain name arbitration request against a former franchisee in Reno. The franchisee registered the domain name when it had a franchise contract with Rebath. The relationship later went sour, and the franchisee and Rebath terminated their relationship.

Rebath argued that the former franchisee no longer had rights to own the domain name, but the respondent said the franchise agreement didn’t mention domain name rights.

As is usual in this type of case, the panel found that this dispute is outside the scope of UDRP because it deals with other contract rights. But Rebath could have avoided much of this mess by including clauses related to domain names in its franchise agreement.

Franchisors take note: one extra clause in your initial agreements could save you a headache down the road.

© 2009.

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