The Lion, The Witch and the WIPO Dispute.

Posted July 28th, 2009

The case of NARNIA.MOBI is not unusual by any means. A domain name has been registered that infringes on the trademark of a large company or famous entity. A complaint has been filed with WIPO; a decision handed down; a domain name transferred away from the registrant and awarded to the trademark holder.

According to BBC news, Richard Saville-Smith registered the domain name NARNIA.MOBI so his 11-year-old son could use it as an email address. The trademark holder, the estate of author CS Lewis registered a WIPO complaint and although the registrant claims the domain was not registered in bad faith, the good folks at the estate of CS Lewis did not see it that way. In the case of WIPO versus the 11-year-old Chronicles of Narnia fan, the estate of author CS Lewis has emerged victorious. The WIPO decision was made in favor of the trademark holder and the domain name was successfully transferred away from the original registrant. The Saville-Smiths are contending that the domain name was purchased during the period of open registration during the .MOBI sunrise and that the Estate should have snapped it up during pre registration only open to trademark holders. This is particularly interesting during a year in which there is much debate about how far a trademark holder should have to go to protect their mark. It did not help Saville-Smith’s case that the domain name was registered in good faith as after the complaint was filed, he went on to register the domain names FREENARNIA.COM and FREENARNIA.MOBI; however, he does bring up an interesting point. Saville-Smith did not register the name out from under The Estate of CS Lewis. Should the Estate of CS Lewis have inherent right to the domain name or should Saville-Smith have been allowed to keep his domain name? Please send us your comments and we will post them after the jump.

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