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Morgan Stanley takes domain name from cat

Terrestrial moggy slinks off with tail between its legs

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A cat has lost its bid to retain a controversial domain name after a multinational investment bank took it to the National Arbitration Forum.

Baroness Penelope Cat of Nash DCB, who is listed as the owner of mymorganstanleyplatinum.com and was given some assistance in the case by Michael Woods, lost control of the domain to Morgan Stanley.

A key part of the case rested on whether or not Baroness Penelope was truly the owner of the domain. The first indication that the decision was unlikely to veer cat-wards came in the written decision of Arbitration Forum Panellist Richard Hill.

"Respondent maintains that it is a cat, that is, a well-known carnivorous quadruped which has long been domesticated," summarised Hill. "However, it is equally well-known that the common cat, whose scientific name is Felis domesticus, cannot speak or read or write."

Baroness Penelope argued in its submission that "the registration information is not false; there are an immense number of Domain Names registered by non human beings".

Hill was not to be swayed, however. "A common cat could not have submitted the Response (or even have registered the disputed domain name)," he wrote. "Therefore, either Respondent is a different species of cat, such as the one that stars in the motion picture 'Cat From Outer Space,' or Respondent's assertion regarding its being a cat is incorrect."

"If Respondent is in fact a cat from outer space, then it should have so indicated in its reply, in order to avoid unnecessary perplexity by the Panel."

In order to retain the domain name, Baroness Penelope had to fulfill three criteria. Having failed the first two, the case rested on whether or not having a cat as a registered owner of a domain constituted "bad faith". Hill ruled that it did.

Baroness Penelope was uncontactable for comment at the time of going to press.

See: the ruling

Copyright © 2006, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

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