EA, in an attempt to gain ownership of SSX.com ahead of the series' February relaunch
, challenged Abstract Holdings International LTD's claim on the address, saying that the URL was registered in "bad faith." A panel at The National Arbitration Forum, however, has determined that EA's argument was insufficient.
"The EA allegations of bad faith in part are based upon the lack of due diligence conducted by retailers of domain names like Respondent," the Forum determined. "EA would seem to require that entities like Respondent conduct an international search for relatively obscure trademarks in order to determine whether a name is a registered mark. The Panel is not willing to go so far."
In this case, EA's claim of "bad faith" hinged on the fact that SSX.com briefly contained video game-related advertisements. Since these advertisements are now gone, there's nothing inherently malicious or misleading about the site, negating EA's ability to claim any misuse. For now, SSX.com remains the property of Abstract Holdings, although we imagine several zeroes and a few commas written on EA letterhead would change their minds.