SIPC REDUCES INVESTOR CONFUSION BY GAINING CONTROL OF SIPC.COM WEB DOMAIN
Organization Prevails in Arbitration Proceeding to End Service Mark Infringement
WASHINGTON, D.C., July 31, 2007 – The Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), which was created by Congress to maintain a special reserve fund to help investors at bankrupt brokerage firms, announced today that it has prevailed in arbitration proceedings that have resulted in it gaining control of the www.sipc.com Web domain.
In May 2007, SIPC initiated a National Arbitration Forum proceeding against California-based SeriousNet over the domain name www.sipc.com. In seeking to have registration of the domain name transferred to it, SIPC argued that SeriousNet had violated SIPC’s service registration with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office of the acronym “SIPC” and of SIPC’s official symbol, which contains the SIPC acronym.
Attorneys for the Securities Investor Protection Corporation noted that the www.sipc.com domain was registered by SeriousNet, without authorization from SIPC, approximately 18 months after SIPC registered its service marks with the Patent and Trademark Office. On April 12, 2007, counsel for SIPC demanded that SeriousNet cease and desist from its use of sipc.com and that it transfer the registration of the domain name to SIPC.
In its findings, the National Arbitration Forum panel agreed with SIPC: “1- The disputed domain name sipc.com is identical or confusingly similar to a Trademark or service mark in which SIPC has rights; 2- SeriousNet has no rights or legitimate interests with respect of the disputed domain name sipc.com; 3- The disputed domain name sipc.com has been registered and is being used in bad faith.”
SIPC President Stephen Harbeck said: “This proceeding should make it very clear that we intend to fully protect our name against any attempt to divert traffic from our Web site or create other confusion in the minds of investors. SIPC plays a critical role and we do not intend to allow any party to make it more difficult for investors to get the help that they need.”
For the National Arbitration Forum finding in the case, please go to http://domains.adrforum.com/domains/decisions/982722.htm.
The Securities Investor Protection Corporation is the investor's first line of defense in the event a brokerage firm fails owing customers cash and securities that are missing from customer accounts. From the time Congress created it in 1970 through December 2006, SIPC has advanced $505 million in order to make possible the recovery of $15.7 billion in assets for an estimated 626,000 investors. Although not every investor is protected by SIPC, SIPC estimates that no fewer than 99 percent of persons who are eligible have been made whole in the failed brokerage firm cases that it has handled to date.
SIPC either acts as trustee or works with an independent court-appointed trustee in a brokerage insolvency case to recover funds. The statute that created SIPC provides that customers of a failed brokerage firm receive all non-negotiable securities that are already registered in their names or in the process of being registered. At the same time, funds from the SIPC reserve are available to satisfy the remaining claims of each customer up to a maximum of $500,000. This figure includes a maximum of $100,000 on claims for cash.
CONTACT: Ailis Aaron Wolf, The Hastings Group, (703) 276-3265 or email@example.com.
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