Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/01/25/subway_domain_dispute/

Subway sues ex-franchisee for trademark infringement

Chooses High Court over WIPO

By John Oates

Posted in Law, 25th January 2007 11:16 GMT

Sarnie maker Subway is taking an former UK franchise holder to the High Court for copyright infringement over a website he has set up complaining about the way the multinational has treated him.

The company is seeking an injunction and up to £100,000 in damages. It claims the site - www.subwayuncovered.com - infringes its trademarks.

Such disputes are usually taken to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). But in recent cases, such as Ryanair's dispute with the owner of Ryanaircampaign.org the WIPO has ruled that you can make limited use of trademarks in order to comment on a company.

The ex-franchisee's site states who the trademarks belong to, but does make various allegations against Subway.

Robert Moorhouse, the man behind the site, told The Register: "They're claiming trademark abuse and copyright infringement and want the case heard in the High Court rather than Leeds near where I live. I set up the website to give information to would-be franchishees that otherwise they would not get until after they had joined."

Moorhouse used to run a Subway store and is in dispute with the firm over payments relating to the transfer of leases and equipment costs.

The rules governing UK domains may change - domain register Nominet recently said it feels current regulations are out of date.

Subway refused to comment on this story citing pending legal action. ®