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Cybercafe domain war all a storm in a coffee cup

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An uneasy truce has broken out in the coffee shop cybersquatting war. On Monday, easyJet entrepreneur Stelios Haji-Ioannou opened his 500-PC, Nescafe-serving easyEverything cybercafe in London -- the first in a chain of "Internet stores." While Haji-Ioannou possessed the all-important easyeverything.com domain, he didn't own easyeverything.co.uk. That was registered by the UK Net company Easynet in December last year, apparently for a customer. Coincidentally, the Cyberia chain of cybercafes was once part of the Easynet Group and still supplies the technology. easyEverything maintains that since it owns the trademark it holds the rights to the domain although no one was prepared to go as far as to say if this a deliberate case of cybersquatting or not. Earlier this week, though, Haji-Iaonnou made his feelings very clear when he said that he wanted easyeverything.co.uk. "We want to keep this civilised," he told The Times. "But if they don't give us that address we may have to start legal proceedings." Today, easyEverything's marketing director Tony Anderson wasn't quite so forthright. "We're still confident we'll resolve this amicably," he said. Graham Davies, MD for the Easynet Group said that he had seen an email on the subject but had received no other communication on the matter. A bemused Davies said: "If they want it, they only have to ask. I don't know why they didn't come to us beforehand." Quite -- a veritable storm in coffee cup. ®

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