Friday, 6 November 2009

Domain names: a passing off and trade mark infringement case - just like old times!

Wasabi Frog Ltd v Miss Boo Ltd is an old-school passing off and trade mark infringement case to deal with a domain name problem. Just the sort of case that has hardly been seen since dispute resolution procedures were introduced, ten or so years ago. It shows that there is still room for good old-fashioned litigation, although Jane Lambert has raised the important question of whether the parties should have explored other methods of dispute resolution. It looks to me as if taking this expensive route enabled the claimant to get what it needed in very short order - the defendant's trade mark application was published in late August, and by early November they have an injunction. And of course the injunction runs in the world of bricks and mortar retailing as well as on-line, so using Nominet's DRS wouldn't have been as effective and hardly any quicker. Using the DRS (or another registrar's similar procedure, such as the UDRP) is fine for dealing with domain name registrations, but where a trade mark infringement is concerned something else is probably needed.

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