One of the fallouts from new generic top-level domain names – in this case .horse – is that the scope for brand owners being subject to parody, abuse or other possible damage has widened. Here, the owner of Walmart.horse closed down the domain after Walmart sought to resolve the dispute under the resolution policy of WIPO.
The greatest horse-based web domain in history is no more: Walmart.horse has disappeared from the internet following a complaint from the American megastore chain.
Registered in late February by Massachusetts-based cartoonist Jeph Jacques, author of webcomic Questionable Content, Walmart.horse was a simple website containing nothing but a picture of a horse superimposed on top of a Walmart store.
In early March, Walmart sent Jacques a cease-and-desist letter, arguing that he was infringing on the company’s trademark. In response, Jacques told them that the site was ‘an obvious parody, and therefore falls under fair use’, and refused to take the page down.