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Save Open Space wins Domain Name Decision

Feb. 6, 2001. Washington Mutual's attempt to shut down this web-site was dealt a severe blow by the World Intellectual Property Organization when their attempt to seize the domain name ahmanson.org was denied on all three counts.

To have won, Washington Mutual must have proven all of the following; (1) the domain name "ahmanson.org" is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which WaMu has rights; (2) SOS has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and (3) the domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. The panel ruled that WaMu failed to prove any of the above, it was a resounding and complete victory for SOS.

The WaMu complaint included 21 filings for trademarks on "Ahmanson" and "Ahmanson Ranch", for products and services from golf apparel to horse breeding and stud services, dated June 7, 2000, eight months after this site was established in November 1999. In June, 2000, SOS was threatened with a Federal lawsuit by WaMu if the domain name "ahmanson.org" was not surrendered to WaMu, instead however WaMu elected to pursue the issue with WIPO. It remains to be seen if they will try to reverse their loss in Federal Court.

Washington Mutual even went so far as to register 115 ahmanson related domain names, again well after this site was established, including "saveahmansonranch.com, .net and .org" and "stopahmansonranch.com, .net and .org".

Thanks go to SOS's pro-bono attorneys; the law firm of Masry and Vititoe, of fame in the recent movie Erin Brockovich and SOS member Attorney Eve Wagner, of Sauer and Wagner, LLP.

Washington Mutual was represented by Weston Benshoof. Losing attorney Steve Weston donates lots of money to developer freindly politicians in the Ahmanson Ranch greater area.

Download Decision (108 KB), Download Notification (40 KB). Press Coverage: LATimes (Humor), LATimes (News), Daily News, Ventura County Star, Seattle Times.