Sam Adams Beer in Domain Brew-ha-ha

It seems a guy named Sam Adams in Portland Oregon is running for mayor of that city and Boston Beer, who makes Samuel Adams beer isn’t too pleased about it. Read the whole story here: AP: Brewer in dispute with real Sam Adams

There are a couple of points to consider in this story

First, is the importance of buying as many related domains as you can when you’re starting a business or political campaign. You don’t want your brand or campaign diluted or hijacked by competitors, wannabes, or just by accident. Boston Beer should have bought up any politically related Sam Adams domains they could have thought of and just redirected them to their main site.

Likewise, Mr. Adams in Portland should have grabbed those domains before he announced his run if they were available. Of course, having the DJ’s buy the domains as a ruse to get him on their show could just be a publicity stunt.

The second point is the risk involved in registering a domain name that is based on a company name. It is very likely that the company will request that you surrender the domain and the Internet authorities will, in most cases, back them. The main way to avoid having to surrender it is if the domain in question is your legal name and your legal name pre-dates the product or company although this doesn’t always work either.

What do you think? Should Mr. Adams be allowed to keep the domains? What are your thoughts on preemptive domain buying? Leave me a comment and let me know.


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Comment by Samuel Adams
2008-07-30 05:58:20

Of course he should be allowed to keep the domain. And in solidarity with Mr. Adams, I registered my own :

I was named Samuel Adams before the beer existed, and I am in fact a decendent of the real Sam Adams. I don’t recall James Koch asking my permision to use my name to sell his beer.

2008-08-14 23:34:30

Yes, I agree, the mayor should be able to keep the domain. It is disgusting when a large corporation tries to muscle an individual.

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