WIPO shafts AOL over porn site

Nudescape.com ruling

WIPO has slapped AOL in the face over the domain Nudescape.com.

The ISP went to WIPO to try and grab the domains Nudescape.com and AOLfind.com from Canadian company Media Dial, which was using the Nudescape URL for a porn site.

AOL, part of media giant AOL Time Warner, claimed the domain names were "confusingly similar" to the AOL and Netscape brands.

It added that confusion was particularly likely with Nudescape.com because the porn site sported a banner stating: "Nudescape.com - The Site of Choice for AOL Users".

WIPO ruled that AOLfind.com should be transferred to AOL. But, surprisingly, it disagreed with the Internet monster over the other domain.

The Net body stated that "scape" and "nude" were common words used in English, and that the Netscape trademark should not prevent others from using these two words in their URLs.

Media Dial "should have a right to use these common English words to describe its pornographic services," according to WIPO.

"Otherwise, parts of the English language would soon be acquired and removed from common use by those wishing to name their businesses or describe their services."

Unfortunately, the Nudescape.com site was out of action this afternoon. WIPO was unable to explain why, AOL didn't return our call, and Media Dial remained elusive.

WIPO has previously helped AOL to win bucketloads of cases over domains that the ISP claimed were similar to its trademarks. ®

Related Link

WIPO statement

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