In a recent blog post, we looked at the challenges facing businesses trying to secure their online brand. If you’re concerned that ‘your’ domain name has been registered by another individual or business, all may not be lost, as Jaguar Land Rover recently discovered.
One of the issues that any business faces when navigating the online arena and setting up a digital business presence is securing an appropriate domain name. Not only the domain name you want to use for your business, but potentially securing other domain names that might be used by other businesses – whether competitors or not – and cause at best confusion, at worst damage to your own business as a result of their use by others.
Jaguar Land Rover recently took issue with the behaviour of a marketing company that had registered 47 domain names featuring words and phrases that they (Jaguar Land Rover) had trademarked. Phrases such as ‘E-type’ ‘Land Rover’, ‘Jaguar’, ‘Range Rover’, ‘E-Type’ or ‘Rover’. The marketing company concerned had offered to sell the domain names back to Jaguar Land Rover for £150 each – a total of somewhere in the region of £7,000. Jaguar Land Rover weren’t impressed, and got Nominet, the official registry for UK domain names, involved.
Using the Nominet dispute resolution process, Jaguar Land Rover complained that this bulk registration amounted to trademark infringement, and that the marketing company had no legitimate interest in the domains. The marketing company countered that the registration was legitimate and would cause no harm. They also argued that the domains could just as easily be used by businesses with a focus on big cats (Jaguar…) or dogs (Rover…). Convinced? We weren’t…