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Mr wembleystadium .net loses domain case

WIPO unconvinced

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A Brit forced to give up www.wemblystadium.net today argued he was entitled to the domain as it was his nickname.

The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) was having none of it, and ordered Bob Thomson to hand the domain over to the owners of the London sports stadium.

"Because of my seven-foot-tall height, and large skeletal frame, I have been commonly known as wembleystadium.net for many, many years," said Thomson.

Thompson, from Aylesbury in Buckingham, claimed he was so committed to the URL that he was in the process of legally changing his name. He planned to use the potentially highly lucrative site for "general family interests and family background", AP reported.

Today was a busy day for WIPO - Dutch footballers Jaap Stam and Pierre van Hooijdonk also managed to wrestle domains bearing their names with the help of the Internet body. Stam, who plays for Manchester United, gained control of www.jaapstam.com from Oliver Cohen - who told WIPO that Stam could not claim his name was well-known worldwide. Cohen, from Pittsburgh in the US, added that he had never tried to sell the domain and had turned down one offer to buy it.

Meanwhile, van Hooijdonk, who plays for Portugal's Benfica, won the domain www.pierrevanhooijdonk.com from a Scot, Sam Tait.

Tait said he could not afford to consult a lawyer, so did not file an official complaint. But in an email to WIPO he said: "I think it is totally out of order that someone with lots of money can come along and take the domain name I paid for."

The two footballers were part of a group of seven Dutch stars who took their case to WIPO - the others were terminated, which normally amounts to a 'friendly' settlement. ®

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