WASHINGTON (August 2022) – Bassam N. Ibrahim and Bryce Maynard successfully represented client General Conference Corp. of Seventh-Day Adventists (GCCSDA) in a trademark dispute against domain-seller Philanthropist.com.
In a dispute dating back to 2016, GCCSDA sent Philanthropist.com a cease and desist letter for a domain Adventist.com. Philanthropist.com then petitioned The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) to cancel GCCDSA’s “Adventist” trademark, citing its economic interest and the letter. In June 2021, TTAB ruled that Philanthropist.com couldn’t oppose the “Adventist” mark as generic because merely owning the adventist.com domain didn’t establish any trademark-related interest.
Before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Ibrahim argued that Philanthropist.com had never used the domain and had no trademark interest. He also argued that allowing domain owners to petition to cancel trademarks based on ownership alone would “open the floodgates” for such petitions. On August 8, 2022, the Court affirmed the previous TTAB decision in favor of GCCSDA.