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Life of a Law Student, University of Houston Law Center

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Morgan Stanley Sues Cat for Domain Name

By: Luke Gilman | Other Posts by
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One of the more enticing things about the prospect of practicing law for me is to have the opportunity to be paid for writing the kind of opinion arbitrator Richard Hill did in the case of Morgan Stanley v. Meow. Only slightly less entertaining is the prospect of, like Baila Celedonia of Cowan, Liebowitz & Latman, of getting to tell my friends and especially my colleagues, that I sued a cat. Hill had more fun, as is obvious from the discussion:

Respondent maintains that it is a cat, that is, a well-known carnivorous quadruped which has long been domesticated. However, it is equally well-known that the common cat, whose scientific name is Felis domesticus, cannot speak or read or write. Thus, a common cat could not have submitted the Response (or even have registered the disputed domain name). Therefore, either Respondent is a different species of cat, such as the one that stars in the motion picture “Cat From Outer Space,” or Respondent’s assertion regarding its being a cat is incorrect.

If Respondent is in fact a cat from outer space, then it should have so indicated in its reply, in order to avoid unnecessary perplexity by the Panel. Further, it should have explained why a cat from outer space would allow Mr. Woods to use the disputed domain name. In the absence of such an explanation, the Panel must conclude that, if Respondent is a cat from outer space, then it may have something to hide, and this is indicative of bad faith behavior.

On the other hand, if Respondent’s assertion regarding its being a cat is incorrect, then Respondent has undoubtedly attempted to mislead this Panel and has provided incorrect WHOIS information. Such behavior is indicative of bad faith. See Video Direct Distribs. Inc. v. Video Direct, Inc., FA 94724 (Nat. Arb. Forum June 5, 2000) (finding that the respondent acted in bad faith by providing incorrect information to the registrar regarding the owner of the registered name); see also Quixtar Invs., Inc. v. Smithberger, D2000-0138 (WIPO Apr. 19, 2000) (finding that use of false registration information constitutes bad faith).

Respondent cites Morgan Stanley v. Michael Woods, FA 604103 (Nat. Arb. Forum Jan. 16, 2005), in which the Panel found that Complainant had failed to prove bad faith registration and use. But that case must be distinguished from the present case, because in that case the Respondent was Mr. Woods, and not a cat or someone who has misled the Panel by pretending to be a cat.

Via the WSJ Law Blog Law Blog Arbitration of the Day: Morgan Stanley v. Meow


Whois info for,

Ashbed Barn
Boraston Track
Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire WR15 8EC


Administrative Contact:
Cat, Penny
Ashbed Barn
Boraston Track
Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire WR15 8EC

Technical Contact:
Cat, Penny
Ashbed Barn
Boraston Track
Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire WR15 8EC

Registration Service Provider:
UK Reg,
+44 1452 541252
+44 1452 538485 (fax)

I for one, suspect Penny Cat, may indeed be from outerspace. My evidence for this contention is that someone by that name reviewed a flat-screen monitor on Amazon, may have been featured as the cat of the day in 2000 (obviously the least of her accomplishments), and may be a friend of Fups the feline author in residence of Powell’s Books.

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