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‘Nokia’ loses nokia.me.uk cybersquatting case

What's in a name

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Phone company Nokia has won the first case against a cybersquatter regarding .me.uk domains.

The Finnish phone company wrote to the domain name holder from London asking him to hand over nokia.me.uk.

However, he wrote back claiming that he had registered the domain name in question because his nickname was "Nokia".

Fair enough, you might think.

Snag is, he then asked Nokia (the phone company, that is) if they'd be prepared to buy the domain - for a price.

It's at this point that Nokia sought to reclaim the domain under Nominet's Dispute Resolution Service.

Conceivably, the cybersquatter in this case might, just might, have got away with the nickname story - if only he hadn't also registered vodafone.me.uk, orange.me.uk, virgin.me.uk, bmw.me.uk, nissan.me.uk and sony.me.uk at around the same time.

With an impressive tally like that he would have had a different nickname for everyday of the week.

Said the ruling on the case: "Given the prominence and renown of the brand names SONY, BMW, VODAFONE, ORANGE, VIRGIN and NISSAN, and the inherent improbability of all such names being registered innocently, I am satisfied on the balance of probabilities that the respondent is engaged in a pattern of making abusive registrations."

It went on: "As Lady Bracknell might have put it, to have registered one domain name corresponding to the brand name of a major mobile telecommunications company may be regarded as a misfortune; to register two looks like carelessness.

"To register four - plus the trade marks of two prominent automobile companies and a major electronics company - looks very much like abusive registration.

Priceless. ®

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