Fulham FC wins cybersquatting case
Mohammed Al-Fayed on another Net crusade
Updated First division and soon-to-be Premiership football club Fulham has won a WIPO case over the domain name www.fulhamfc.com.
The domain was owned by a company called Belize Domain Services, based unsurprisingly on tax-haven Belize. It registered the domain in May 1998 and said it intended to make the site a "fun club". It hasn't actually done anything with the site however and the single judge unsurprisingly exclaimed "bad faith!" and ruled for Fulham FC.
Fulham had gone for the "common law and registered rights" defence for the words "Fulham FC" and the judge agreed. Football clubs (and associations) are getting increasingly forceful with their trademarks on the Internet. Recently, Bayern Munchen, Juventus and the UK Football Association have all won WIPO decisions.
Fulham football club is owned by notorious businessman Mohammed Al-Fayed who owns the Harrods store in London and is renowned for being refused a British passport on several occasions and having a son, Dodi, that died in a car crash along with Diana, the Princess of Wales in Paris in 1997.
He won a case last year over www.dodialfayed.com. Mr Al-Fayed had trademarked his son's name two years after his death and the WIPO judge ruled that the US owner has no legitimate interest in the domain. ®
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