Domain Claims


Q We have tried to register a web address in the name of our company, but have found it is already taken. However, the individual is not using it and has subsequently offered to sell It to us. What can we do?

Alt depends on what sort of claim the other party can show. They may be trying to make money or may not have managed to develop the site and are looking to recoup their expenses.

If a large sum has been mentioned a court would most likely view this as a cyber-squatting case, in which case you could threaten litigation. There is a favourable precedent from 1997, when two individuals tried to extort amounts of up to [pound]25,000 from household brand names such as Burger King, BT and Marks & Spencer. They were forced by a judge to surrender their claims to the domain names.

For help with a '.co.uk' name you can approach Nominet, the UK national domain names register, which has a free advisory service (www.nominet.net). It has no powers in this regard, but can often persuade cyber-squatters to voluntarily give up the name. …

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