I have owned a domain in the U.S. for last sixteen years. A foreign entity, who started operations in their country of origin (in Europe), filed a conflicting trademark in their own country in the 70's, but did not file a conflicting trademark in the U.S. until about five years after my domain registration.
When I registered the domain, I was unaware of the foreign entity. I have used the domain in question for my own business purposes, but it has no public web presence. Now the foreign entity, whose operations in the U.S. are growing, wants the name. The domain name is the exact name of the foreign business, and also the exact word listed in the U.S. trademark, and it cannot be considered a generic word.
Does an international trademark filing carry any weight in a U.S. court? Does the fact that domain registration precedes the U.S. trademark registration by several years create any negotiation leverage?