Feeds

Compare The Market can't touch web filth extension - simples

First biz to lose .xxx cybersquat dispute

Boost IT visibility and business value

Price comparison biz Compare The Market has lost its bid to seize the domain name comparethemarket.xxx.

BGL Group, which owns the Compare The Market brand, has the unpleasant distinction of being the first company to lose a cybersquatting case in the new adults-only .xxx extension. The owner of the domain, listed in the Whois database as Jon Watkins of Gwent, is now free to use comparethemarket.xxx in whatever way he sees fit.

BGL launched a Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) complaint with the Czech Arbitration Court in April, but discovered this week that its claim had been rejected.

"Clearly, 'compare the market' could relate to myriad different types of markets and myriad different comparisons within each one, as demonstrated by a simple web search," CAC panelist Mike Rodenbaugh wrote.

Under the UDRP, complainants must show that the domain name was registered in bad faith. Rodenbaugh found that BGL had failed to do so in this case, as comparethemarket.xxx does not currently resolve to a website.

"Inactive non-use is clearly an insufficient indicator of bad faith; there must be something more," he wrote. "Therefore the complaint must be denied."

Often, offers to sell domains to trademark owners or "parking" the domain with ads for competitors is taken as evidence of bad faith. Neither was present in this case. However, other UDRP panelists have found in previous cases, controversially, that inactive web sites can be taken as evidence of bad-faith registration.

BGL has been operating comparethemarket.com and comparethemarket.co.uk since 2004. It also bought comparethemeerkat.com in 2007 when it introduced its hugely well-known commercials featuring Aleksandr Orlov, a computer-generated Russian meerkat whose catchphrase is "simples".

CompareTheMarket.xxx was registered on 7 December during .xxx's first days of general availability. BGL picked up comparethemeerkat.xxx on 20 December.

Since .xxx launched, 22 UDRP cases have been filed and won by companies that missed out on the extension's pricey trademark-protection "sunrise" period last autumn, which has been characterised by some as a "shakedown". ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Déjà vu: Virgin Media jacks up broadband prices
Screw copper phone lines, we're UNIQUE, bleats telco
NBN Co claims 96 mbps download speeds for FTTN trial
Umina trial also delivers 30 mbps uploads, but exact rig used not revealed
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
EE: STILL Blighty's best mobe network, says 'Frappucino' Moore
Fresh round of network stats fisticuffs possibly on the cards here
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
ROAD TRIP! An FCC road trip – Leahy demands net neutrality debate across US
You crashed watchdog's site, now time to crash its ears
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?