Take-Two Interactive Software had a pretty good track record in 2013 when it came to domain complaints, winning more than two dozen disputes over names like gtatv.com and betagtav.com.
But lately, the company has been running into trouble. The last two rulings have not gone in the company’s favor.
Take-Two recently lost a dispute over a domain name of a fake snuff website it used to own, and now a WIPO panel has denied its complaint over gta.tv, a three-letter domain name whose acronym is often interpreted as “Grand Theft Auto”, a pretty common term these days, which Take-Two seems to think it has a monopoly on.
Details of the ruling, which was posted online today, have yet to be released.
While a GTA TV show is all just rumor and speculation at this point, Take-Two has been filing complaints at related domains. In August 2013, Take-Two filed a dispute (Case No. DTV2013-0004) against the owner of the domain GTA.tv (WHOIS), however, a decision has yet to be issued.
A panelist with the World Intellectual Property Organization ordered gtatv.com and the other names transferred after finding the names were confusingly similar to Take-Two’s GTA trademarks, that the current owner had no rights or legitimate interests in any of the names, and that the names were registered in bad faith. The names had been listed for sale for prices ranging from $350 for grandtheftautovideos.com to $15,000 for gtatv.com.
All four names: grandtheftautovideos.com (WHOIS), gtaextreme.com (WHOIS), gtarevolution.com (WHOIS) and gtatv.com (WHOIS), are still registered to Domain Asset Holdings, which is operated by domain name pioneer Mike Mann. Mann made headlines in 2012 after registering 14,962 domains in 24 hours.
Much of the buzz surrounding Take-Two has been over the recent release of Grand Theft Auto V. What you may not know, though, is that Take-Two just filed a dispute over the domain name valiant-ent.tv (WHOIS), which used to be a fake snuff website used to promote the psychological horror video game Manhunt. The domain name and website were owned and operated by Rockstar Games for years, until the company let the name expire in 2011 and its new owner launched a petition site aimed at having Manhunt 3 developed.
Why go after the name after more than 2 years since it changed owners? Is Manhunt 3 in the works?
Take-Two filed the dispute (WIPO Case Number: DTV2013-0006) over valiant-ent.tv this week with the World Intellectual Property Organization. The case follows a number of successful filings against owners of other Take-Two related domains like GTAV.com and GTA5BetaCode.com.
Today, the identity of valiant-ent.tv’s owner is private according to WHOIS records, but the petition site is online.
A message on the site reads, “I strongly believe that there is still a desire to make a new Manhunt game within at least one of Rockstar Game’s many studios, I think it’s just a matter of showing Take-Two Interactive (Rockstar’s parent company) that there is still a high demand.” Despite the current owner’s efforts, only 4 signatures have been received, as you can see in the screenshot below.
The fake snuff website (SCREENSHOT) once owned and operated by Take-Two may or may not be coming back. Even if Take-Two wins the dispute and takes control of the domain, it’s only speculation that the video game company might one day release a Manhunt 3.