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NZ Company Win In Cybersquatter Case

New Zealand company, Moana Pacific Fisheries Ltd, has successfully won back the right to use its own name from a 'cybersquatter'.

A competitor of Moana Pacific Fisheries registered moanapacific.com as a domain name and was trying to prevent them using it, or sell it back to them.

Intellectual property specialist, Kim McLeod of A J Park, says the dispute was resolved quickly and cheaply by being taken to a new international dispute body, doing away with the need go to court.

"Moana Pacific took their complaint to the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) which is the body responsible for the technical management of the Internet. ICANN has set up a Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) which deals with disputes about domain name registrations for top-level domain names such as '.com', or '.org'."

"To be successful under the UDRP process, a complainant must prove that the domain name registered by the other party is identical or confusingly similar to a trade mark or service mark to which the complainant has rights. They must show that the other party has no legitimate interest in the domain name and that the domain name has been registered and used in bad faith. An example of 'bad faith' is where a company has no obvious interest in a domain name and has offered to sell it to the company who already has the trade mark for the name or brand."

"The company that registered 'moanapacific.com' is a New Zealand company based in the USA. They compete directly with Moana Pacific in the fisheries business, both in New Zealand and internationally. In the absence of any defence from the cybersquatter, the arbitrators found for Moana Pacific Fisheries Ltd."

"The great thing about this new disputes mechanism is that it aims to get a result within 60 days and avoids the cost and delay of going to court. Where the disputes process has yet to develop, is in relation to country domain names (.uk, .nz, .au) and to cases where two parties have competing legitimate rights to a domain name. This latter area is an area that is ripe for dispute."

ENDS

For further information, please contact: Catherine Beard Principal, Comsar Communications, Tel (04) 389 0544, Mob (021) 633 212 Kim McLeod, Solicitor, A J Park, Tel (09) 356 7684, (021) 669 653


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