Fun Friday afternoon topic: domain name disputes

mirod mirod at
Fri Feb 5 14:59:57 GMT 2010

Jason Clifford wrote:
> On Fri, 2010-02-05 at 14:29 +0100, mirod wrote:
>> My friend owns the trademark for the name in Europe, the US and Asia. It is a
>> very distinct name and a Google search on the name returns only hits related to
>> her product.
>> So it looks like a clear case of cyber-squatting to me.
> It might be. It depends upon whether the domain name was registered in
> bad faith (see for
> details) or not.

> Do bear in mind that Trademark protects a name in relation to a specific
> market segment and is not universal so if the current registrant was
> using the name in connection with some other market segment or not
> commercially and specifically in a manner not likely to cause confusion
> as to who was using it your friend might not have a right to try and
> take the domain via a DRP.

It appears that her brand is unique, which is lucky for a 4 letter word!
The weird thing though is that whois tells me that the record was created 6 
years ago. That seems a long time for someone to sit on a useless domain name.

>> I am not sure what she can do about it though. It seems like the only solution
>> is to go to court, and there have been very few cases that went to trial.
> Perhaps the registry operator the domain was registered through (as
> shown in the whois record) operates a dispute resolution service
> although many of them effectively don't.
> WIPO is an option for a dispute on a .com domain but it will be
> expensive and slow. It's really designed to accommodate the needs and
> desires of larger companies.
> If the person who has registered the domain is based in the UK taking
> them to court over the matter should not be too hard. If they are
> elsewhere you might well have to bring action in a US court which will
> be expensive.

The registrar is From a quick look at their website, they seem to 
be very much in the business of providing a market place for domain names. And 
their dispute policy, although quite long, seems to boil down to require the 
involvement of WIPO :--(

The registrant is based in the UK, but my friend is in Italy.


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