Chick-fil-A Inc., a US fast-food chain that serves chicken, filed a complaint in its battle against a parody website.
We did a post earlier about Chik-fil-A, mainly because or them amazingly cool ads (cows that walk around with signs saying ‘Eat mor chikin’).
The company objected to the registration of the domain name www.chickfilafoundation.com with World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) Arbitration and Mediation Center.
It all started with Chick-fil-A’s CEO, Dan Cathy, expressing the view that homosexuality is both sinful and a chosen lifestyle. Cathy opposes same-sex marriage.
Almost immediately after, gay, lesbian and transgender people and supporters called for a boycot of Chick-fil-A restaurants. In response to that, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee called for opponents of same-sex marriage to go make a statement and eat at Chick-fil-A restaurants.
The disputed website features a photo of Huckabee, and a coupon purporting to offer a free Chick-fil-A sandwich to anyone who abandoned homosexuality. The site also features photos of the operator of a clinic that claimed to cure people of homosexuality.
The fast food chain stated that its name was being used in bad faith on the parody website. The notice “This site is not affiliated with Chick-fil-A,” that appeared in very small type at the bottom of the page, was not making things better.
The WIPO arbitration panel said that while it was “questionable” about whether the disputes site qualified as parody, it was clear that the application wasn’t filed in bad faith. For a bad faith claim to succeed, the site must have been created for commercial gain. Because the panel couldn’t find any proof of bad-faith registration, Chick-fil-A’s complaint was denied.
And once again freedom of speech prevails!
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