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Recent Case Notes & Commentary

THE ANTI SOCIAL SOCIAL CLUB LIVES ON

A company called Get Weird owns the Anti Social Social Club (we will call it the ASSC), founded in 2015 by Neek Lurk.


The Anti Social Social Club quickly rocketed to fame as a brand when Kanye "Ye" West was seen wearing an ASSC hoodie a few weeks after it was created. By 2016, ASSC was the biggest name in the biz.


Since then, it has had a few ups and downs, but is still in demand and has a big following, especially among young buyers. It is heavily into clothing and accessory lines, like t-shirts, caps and hoodies.

 

ASSC also caters to a specially devoted audience in Asia: it's collaborated with Japanese streetwear brands like BAPE and Hysteric Glamour, Filipino fast-food chain Jollibee, K-pop juggernauts BTS, and it even devised a China-exclusive Ed Hardy collection.


It has trademarks all over the place, including in Europe, which is significant as you will see in a minute.


As well as its trademarks, it also has and uses the domain name <antisocialsocialclub.com> for its own official website.


The ASSC’s trademarks give it the right to bring a claim if anyone registers and uses a domain name that conflicts with them. And that is what happened.


The Defendant, or as we call them in these cases, the Respondent, decided to get in on the act and registered the domain name <antisocialsocialclub.eu.com>. You are right : the domain name is very close to ASSC’s official domain name, with one difference. It has added “.eu” into the domain name after “club” and before”.com”. This suggests that it is pretending that it is the European platform for the ASSC, which is not true. It was a scam.


The phony domain name led to a website that used the ASSC name and trademark and put up for sale a wide range of products like t-shirts, caps, hoodies, shorts, duffle bags and other bits and pieces, all the time using the name Anti Social Social Club to mislead everyone into believing that they were official and genuine ASSC goods. It even put up the names and logos of approved credit cards, so there was no doubt: they intended that people would buy the obviously counterfeit lines.


The result: not very surprising. The Honorable Neil Brown KC, while deciding this claim, had no trouble in concluding that the whole thing, with the false domain name, the pretence that it was the European platform for the ASSC and the imaginary products, was deceptive. So he ordered that the phony domain name should be transferred to Get Weird, so they could control it for official and genuine items or just not use it at all, as they wished. Case closed.


Take home message: the domain name dispute process can be used to stop bad actors from illegally using other parties’ domain names.


You can read the whole decision at   

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