A Brief History

So what is the history of Urban Logic v. Urban Logic? I am glad you asked. It goes something like this. Once upon a time, as the Bard wrote, there were:

Two households, both alike in dignity.
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny.
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.

While there may or may not have been two households in Verona, there were most certainly two companies called Urban Logic operating in the United States in the late 1990s. One used the URL urbanlogic.com and one used urbanlogic.org. One was in San Francisco doing web development. The other was in New York doing something involving maps.

Each became aware of the other in 2002. By 2003, after an initial friendly set of exchanges, communications broke down. This was mostly because the .org folks were demanding that the .com folks give up their website. The .com folks said no. By 2007, urbanlogic.org folks had gotten a Federal trademark for the name Urban Logic as it related to the map business and whatever else it was they did.

After six years of silence, in 2009 the urbanlogic.org folks contacted the urbanlogic.com folks. They again demanded that .com give .org the urbanlogic.com URL on the basis that they now had the aforementioned trademark. This is, of course, not how trademark law works in the United States. The folks at .com again said no.

Next thing you know, .org had hired a law firm to accuse .com of being cyber-squatters. This, by the way, is a federal crime in the United States. The .com folks were not amused. Things advanced to the point that .org tried to take the .com URL in a binding international arbitration panel administrative proceeding. Kind of like a court case but without the Court.

Things did not go as the folks at urbanlogic.org had planned. Not only did they not get to take urbanlogic.com, but the “judge” in the case said that the .org people had essentially tried to steal the .com URL in an abuse of the legal process. The .org people were branded “reverse domain name hijackers.” This is quite rare, and it is the highest sanction that the administrative proceeding could give.

Should you choose to, you can read what the Panel had to say. Bear in mind, not all facts are entirely accurate. For example, Peter Holland was a toddler during the Vietnam War. He did not serve in combat there.

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