Trade marks body backs court ruling against Net pirates

A landmark High Court ruling that will protect companies’ rights to their names on the Internet has won praise from the Institute of Trade Mark Agents.

A landmark High Court ruling that will protect companies’ rights to

their names on the Internet has won praise from the Institute of Trade

Mark Agents.



The ruling was against two so-called ’domain brokers’ who were engaged

in registering prospective Internet and e-mail addresses of well-known

companies and offering to sell or lease them back to their rightful

owners for large sums of money.



ITMA, which protects the interests of trade mark holders, said it hoped

the ruling would dissuade unscrupulous dealers from repeating the

practice.



Richard Conway and Julian Nicholson registered the Internet domain names

of high street brands including Ladbrokes, Burger King and Marks &

Spencer.



In a separate case earlier this year, Harrods won back the rights to its

name for use on the Internet.



John Slater, the president of ITMA, said: ’The judgment backs up what we

have been constantly saying.



For a long time we have been warning of superhighway pirates.’