Domain name dispute over Narnia


A family in Edinburgh has been the recipient of a WIPO domain name complaint as a result of their purchase of a Narnia domain name. Richard and Gillian Saville-Smith purchased the domain name narnia.mobi as a gift for their son so that he could use it as his email address. However, C.S. Lewis’ estate has filed a complaint using WIPO’s domain name dispute resolution mechanism (case D2008-0821).

The value of the domain name is quite evident, as Disney and C.S. Lewis Ltd will certainly be thinking of using it to further promote the popular franchise of Narnia books. Given WIPO’s well-documented track record to support the trade mark holder, I am guessing that the result of this dispute could be a foregone conclusion.

This story has internet meme written all over it. Corporate greedy interests, Disney, and unscrupulous estates plot together against hard-working family who want nothing more than to give their son a birthday gift. C.S. Lewis is “rolling in his grave” according to the family. I may surprise some people here, but I have to say that I do not have any sympathy for the parents in this case, even if they are from Edinburgh. Domain name law is clearly moving towards trade mark, and a domain name can be a valuable commodity. If that is the case, what sort of right can this family claim over the domain “narnia.mobi” other than the fact that they registered early? The C.S. Lewis estate holds the trade mark, so it is perfectly valid to assume that they would have a better claim over the domain name than a random family from Scotland.

I would like to own the domain “lordoftherings.com”, but it ain’t gonna happen, is it?

Comments 1

  1. Normaly if you have a right reason to use the domain, you could be able to keep the domain.Let say, if I have an apple farm and I registered domain name "apple.info", I use this domain just to do the marketing for my apple business, (not computer….). Without the good reason, the domain will be bellong to the trade mark owner.I have just do a search for Narnia.mobil domain registration information and here is the whois result:Domain ID:D453114-MOBIDomain Name:NARNIA.MOBICreated On:29-Sep-2006 22:40:08 UTCLast Updated On:28-May-2008 13:32:32 UTCExpiration Date:29-Sep-2008 22:40:08 UTCSponsoring Registrar:Tucows Inc (69)Created by Registrar:Tucows Inc (69)Last Updated by Registrar:Tucows Inc (69)Status:CLIENT DELETE PROHIBITEDStatus:CLIENT TRANSFER PROHIBITEDStatus:CLIENT UPDATE PROHIBITEDRegistrant ID:tuF7EA3K5o1NEQ78Registrant Name:Richard Saville-SmithRegistrant Organization:Richard Saville-SmithRegistrant Street1:4 Grosvenor GardensRegistrant City:EdinburghRegistrant State/Province:MidlothianRegistrant Postal Code:EH125JURegistrant Country:GBRegistrant Phone:+44.01313468007Registrant Email:[email protected] ID:tuF7EA3K5o1NEQ78Admin Name:Richard Saville-SmithAdmin Organization:Richard Saville-SmithAdmin Street1:4 Grosvenor GardensAdmin City:EdinburghAdmin State/Province:MidlothianAdmin Postal Code:EH125JUAdmin Country:GBAdmin Phone:+44.01313468007Admin Email:[email protected] ID:tuF7EA3K5o1NEQ78Tech Name:Richard Saville-SmithTech Organization:Richard Saville-SmithTech Street1:4 Grosvenor GardensTech City:EdinburghTech State/Province:MidlothianTech Postal Code:EH125JUTech Country:GBTech Phone:+44.01313468007Tech Email:[email protected] Server:NS1.FAST-HOSTS.ORGName Server:NS2.FAST-HOSTS.ORG

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