SOUTHWESTCHIEF.COM was registered as a Domain Name by Trainweb LLC on April 3, 1999 and was placed into immedatiate use as a resource of information, travelogues and photographs related to travel on the Amtrak Southwest Chief.
On all of the extensive literature, timetables, brochures, etc. produced by Amtrak (NRPC - National Rail Passenger Corporation), TrainWeb did not find a Trade Mark or Service Mark for the name "Southwest Chief". All refernces to the Southwest Chief by Amtrak themselves and others were provided without any indication of registration in all the years up to 1999. Even today many occurances of the term "Southwest Chief" is mentioned on the Amtrak.com website and other Amtrak publications with no indication of its trademarked status. Thus, TrainWeb LLC believed that Amtrak had no desire to restrict the use of the name of its "Southwest Chief" train and that TrainWeb LLC was clear to use this as a Domain Name for a fan page of this Amtrak route.
On September 15, 2005, the NRPC did file for a trademark of "SOUTHWEST CHIEF" and it was granted on September 26, 2006, more than five years after it had been in use by TrainWeb LLC.
TrainWeb LLC assumed in good faith that the name "Southwest Chief" was in the public domain when it began use of it as a domain name in 1999 since Amtrak provided no indication that it was a registered trademark. TrainWeb LLC claims no ownership of the trademark / servicemark "SouthwestChief" other than in its ownership of the "SOUTHWESTCHIEF.COM" domain name.
Further, TrainWeb LLC sees no conflict and no infringement by Amtrak in Amtrak using the name "Southwest Chief" for all other purposes other than the "SOUTHWESTCHIEF.COM" domain name. We are expecting that Amtrak will extend the same courtesy to TrainWeb LLC considering that no indication was provided in 1999 that the name "SouthwestChief" was anything but in the public domain.