Judge rejects ICBC's domain claim
Lawyer Wesley Mussio. (SUBMITTED)
The provincial vehicle insurer has lost for the second time in court trying to prove the website belonging to a lawyer’s wife — icbcadvice.com — was infringing on the Insurance Corporation of B.C.’s trademark.
Wesley Mussio, who represented his wife Penelope Stainton-Mussio, said on Tuesday he’s still not entirely sure why ICBC wants the website name.
He said there’s a sizable list of domain names with the letters “ICBC” in them, such as icbctips.ca or icbc-claims.com, but “they never went after any of them.”
Mussio in 2012 came out of a B.C. Supreme Court decision victorious, and won again on Tuesday after learning the B.C. Court of Appeal had defeated the ICBC appeal of the lower court’s decision.
It’s unclear whether ICBC would seek proceedings in the Supreme Court of Canada on the matter.
“Hopefully, it’s not a personal thing,” Mussio said. “The reason — I think — it’s not about the name and it’s about the website. We’ve offered to sell the website name back if we could transfer all the clients, and change the name slightly, but they haven’t entertained that at all.”
Mussio said his wife created the website in 2006 to share information from motor vehicle injury lawyers, and to refer potential clients to a list of lawyers on the site.
“She thought it would be a good idea to retain some lawyers, including me, to write articles and put up a public service website so people are better informed. At the time it was done, there wasn’t a lot of websites with information back in 2006,” he said.
It also sold a book — earlier named ICBC Claim Guide, and later changed to ICBCadvice Claim Guide — but the book is sold below value, Mussio said.
Website traffic, he said, ranges from 2,800 to 10,000 visitors monthly — he didn’t have any numbers on how much business his legal profession has generated from the site.
ICBC did not provide a response by press time Tuesday.
Mussio estimated costs owed to him by ICBC could be up to $40,000.