[Random-bits] UDRP: shack.com and David Shackleton vrs Radio Shack

James Love love@cptech.org
Sun, 03 Sep 2000 03:49:16 -0400


In this dispute over shack.com, David Shackleton, who has been known by
the nickname, Shack, successfully opposed an effort by Radio Shack to
take his domain. shack.com.  Jamie

               FACTUAL FINDINGS

            The Complainant Technology
Properties, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary
of Tandy Corporation and owns the trademark
"Shack".  This trademark is licensed to
RadioShack, a division of Tandy Corporation. 
RadioShack and its predecessors have used the
mark "Shack" since 1977.  

            The Respondent, Design Shack,
David Shackleton, Administrative Contact, is
an entrepreneur who is involved in the design
of web-based companies and business models. 
He formed a web-based company named
DesignShack in 1996.  DesignShack offered
visual guides to product information on the
web.  It showed thumbnail pictures of
products such as mountain bikes and
automobiles and provided links to
manufacturer information.  The name of the
company was chosen in part because of its
association to its creator, Shackleton, whose
nickname is Shack.  Although he had
registered the domain name designshack.com,
he decided that this was not memorable enough
and sought to shorten the name to shack.com. 
He discovered that this domain name was
registered to an individual named Adam
Solesby and in 1996, Shackleton purchased the
name from Solesby for the sum of $1,000.

            Since purchasing the domain name
shack.com, Shackleton has used that site as a
method of providing product information on
the web.  In 1997, that website won numerous
awards, including Yahoo Site of The Day.  In
1997, Shackleton started another company and
closed the shack.com because he did not have
the time or resources to maintain both
websites.  The domain name shack.com has
remained dormant since 1997.

            Shackleton states that he intends
to launch a series of web-based companies in
the coming years and has plans for using
shack.com.  None of these plans involve
competing with the Complainant.  Shackleton
states the he has never sold or intended to
sell products that would compete with
RadioShack under the domain name shack.com. 
He says he has never intended or tried to get
people to associate shack.com with RadioShack
or to mistake shack.com for a website
sponsored, endorsed or affiliated in any way
with RadioShack.  There is no evidence before
the panel to dispute these assertions.

            It appears to be undisputed that
in 1998, Shackleton was contacted by an
attorney for RadioShack seeking to obtain a
transfer of the domain name shack.com to
RadioShack.  Shackleton informed the attorney
that he was not interested in transferring
the name and was then offered $100 by
RadioShack.  That offer was rejected. 
RadioShack then filed a complaint and the
name was put on hold for year.  During that
period of time, RadioShack offered $500 for
the name.  After further consideration and
discussion with his attorney, Shackleton
offered to transfer the name for $20,000. 
That offer was rejected.

            It appears from the evidence that
there are 258 trademarks using the word
"shack" registered with the United States
Patent and Trademark Office.  And, over the
past few years, several people have expressed
interest in acquiring the name from
Shackleton.  Shackleton has told all of them
that he was not interested in selling the

            RadioShack has registered
twenty-six domain names including
RADIOSHACK.COM.  RadioShack's web site is
located at http://www.radioshack.com.
James Love, Consumer Project on Technology
v. 1.202.387.8030, fax
love@cptech.org, http://www.cptech.org