Coventry car maker Jaguar Land Rover wins internet domain name battle with marketing firm 2016-03-09
Jaguar Land Rover took on a marketing company in a row over domain names.
The Coventry car-maker said there were trademark infringements with 47 internet domain names registered by Big Marketing Limited.
They featured the words “Land Rover”, “Jaguar”, “Range Rover”, “E-Type” or “Rover”, all of which are Jaguar Land Rover trade marks.
Big Marketing, of Milton Keynes, pointed out that Jaguars are big cats, as well as cars, and a zoo could use a web domain including that word.
Rover is also a popular name for dogs and could be chosen by pet lovers when christening a website, it was argued.
The marketeers insisted their registration of the domains was legitimate and denied they were causing any harm to the car makers.
They had offered to sell the domains to Jaguar Land Rover for the reasonable price of just £150 each, they said.
However, the car giants were unamused and took their complaints to independent internet watchdog, Nominet.
And now Nominet expert, Jon Lang, has ordered Big Marketing to hand over all the domain names to Jaguar Land Rover free of charge.
Big Marketing specialises in the franchised motor trade and said it had “pro-actively registered” over 600 websites in support of its business.
It had links to Jaguar Land Rover authorised dealerships and had no intention to confuse the car makers’ clients.
However, Jaguar Land Rover insisted that Big Marketing had “no legitimate interest” in using the domain names.
Ruling on the dispute, Mr Lang said Big Marketing did appear to have a habit of registering domain names containing the names or trade marks of others.
Its practice of making “block registrations” of internet real estate seemed to be part of a “conscious policy”, he added.
Although Big Marketing had offered to part with the domain names for £150 each, that came to over £7,000 in total.
Jaguar Land Rover stopped short of accusing Big Marketing of threatening to use the domain names to confuse its customers.
But Mr Lang said the websites could cause “not just confusion, but very real detriment” to the car makers if they fell into the wrong hands.
Arguments about dogs called Rover or big cats did nothing to help Big Marketing as it was not running a zoo or a canine appreciation business.
Mr Lang said he had “little difficulty” in finding that the 47 domain names were “abusive registrations” in Big Marketing’s hands.
“I direct that the domain names be transferred to Jaguar Land Rover”, the expert concluded.
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