by Hadi Fornaji.
Tripoli, 10 September:
The embassy of . . .[restrict]Libya in the United States and the Libyan government have lost their six-year battle over the rights to four privately-owned domain names, including libyaembassy.com.
Proceedings were started against businessman Ahmed Miski, the executive director of the Arab American Chamber of Commerce, in 2006. The case had been delayed during the uprising in 2011 and was finally heard last week.
The Washington judge Reggie Walton ruled that the claimants failed to prove that ‘Embassy of Libya‘ or ‘Libyan Embassy‘ were either trademarks or ‘suggestive’ marks that could be protected under America’s AntiCybersquatting Consumer Protection Act.
Cybersquatting is the purchase and use of an internet domain name with the intention of using someone else’s trademark for personal profit. Miski bought four .com website domain names featuring the words ‘Libya’ and ‘embassy’ in 2002 and 2003.
Having originally claimed that his ownership of the names would prevent others from using them for anti-Arab purposes, Miski later started exploiting them to direct people to his own website, that of the Arab American Chamber of Commerce.
During the court proceedings Miski had made counterclaims of “tortious interference with contract” and “tortious interference with prospective economic advantage.” These were both rejected through lack of evidence.
The Washington embassy had long used the website libyanbureau.com but currently employs libyausaembassy.com. After the ruling, this is now the closest alternative to their preferred .com domain name.