All posts filed under: Domain names


Pearson v Automattic: Did Automattic succeed by the skin of its teeth?

Focus of this post As many in the WordPress community will know by now thanks to Jeff Chandler’s helpful post on the case, recently Chris Pearson was unsuccessful in his complaint against Automattic regarding its purchase of the domain name. Pearson had sought to have the domain transferred to him. I want to say a few things about this case but I’m not going to get emotional about it nor will I publish any comments that come across as hostile, abusive or potentially defamatory. My interest is to point out a few things that do not seem prominent in the discussions I’ve seen to date and to do so from a hopefully dispassionate legal perspective. Facts The key facts seem to be these: Many years ago, Chris Pearson developed a theme for WordPress called Thesis. When released, Pearson did not license Thesis under the GPL. In due course, there was heated if not acrimonious debate between Matt Mullenweg and Pearson as to the licensing of Thesis. Mullenweg argued that Thesis should be licensed under …


WordPress Foundation v Yablon and PC-VIP, Inc

Introduction As many will know, the WordPress Foundation has commenced court proceedings against Mr Yablon and PC-VIP, Inc in relation to the use of “WordPress” in “The WordPress Helpers” website and multiple domain names:,,,,, and Attempts to resolve the matter without resorting to court proceedings have, it seems, been unsuccessful. The WordPress Foundation’s complaint against Mr Yablon and PC-VIP, Inc, filed with the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, contains five claims for relief. It also seeks a jury trial. The complaint is available online if you’d like to read it. Fools rush in where angels fear to tread I don’t propose to express an opinion on whether and if so how many of the claims may succeed. Not only is it more appropriate to leave that to US trademark and cybersquatting attorneys but we are yet to see a statement of defence from the defendants and we are probably not fully aware of the full range of facts (other than the obvious ones) …