When I first heard of Keith Urban’s lawsuit against Keith Urban, I thought the whole thing was pretty stupid. Why would a huge country music star sue a nobody in New Jersey for trademark infringement simply because they have the same name. It seemed to be a typical case of those with more money than sense demanding something for free (in this case a domain name) and suing when they don’t get their way.
Well, I owe the country music star an apology for thinking so little of him. It turns out he has a pretty good reason to be miffed at the painter, but I still believe he should lose his charges of “federal trademark infringement, dilution of a federally registered trademark, federal unfair competition and violation of the anti-cybersquatting consumer protection act and the Tennessee consumer protection act.”
At issue is www.KeithUrban.com. Unlike the infamous Julia Roberts decision, Keith Urban the painter has a legitimate reason for owning the domain name. It may not even qualify as cybersquatting. The burden of proving there is a bad-faith motive in holding the name is going to be difficult since it is the guy’s name.
That said, if you look at the site, you’re quickly going to see that the guy goes to great lengths to hide the fact that he is not “that” Keith Urban. There are no pictures of himself, no contact information other than an e-mail, and references to painting as “a hobby”, leading you to believe his day job is something else (country music star, perhaps).
I suspect the legal decision in this will leave the domain with the rightful owner (the painter). However, he’s probably in some danger of being charged with some deceptive trade practices.