The Scottish family at the centre of a dispute over has lost control of the domain name following a decision by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).

The dispute was between Richard Saville-Smith, who lives with his family in Edinburgh, and CS Lewis Ltd, which controls the rights to the works of CS Lewis. Saville-Smith says he was planning to let his son use the domain for his email address. Check out our previous posting for full background on the story.

The full text of the WIPO ruling can be found over on the organisation’s website. But in short, the panel ordered Saville-Smith to give control of the domain to CS Lewis Ltd. As the decision explains:

“…the Panel cannot envision any plausible, good faith basis upon which the Respondent [Saville-Smith] could have concluded that he was free to appropriate the Complainant’s [CS Lewis Ltd.] distinctive and widely known NARNIA mark for use as a personal email address…”

The decision has recently been covered on the BBC and Telegraph websites. And just before the decision was reached, Scotland on Sunday published an interesting piece by Gillian Fergusson, wife of Saville-Smith.

A fair decision? Leave a comment and let us know what you think.

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4 Responses

  • Chris M

    Good old lawyers and some classic saber rattling.
    If there was no evidence of money being made via this domain purchase in relation to the trademark I see no reason why the WIPO has awarded CS Lewis estate the domain.
    A very lazy, badly run case in my opinion.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:47 pm
  • Nicholas Dudley-Jones

    Very Interesting!!

    I just sold my site to HP!!! They contacted me wanting to know my intentions with the site and that they were getting a number of comments/confusion as to wether my site was affiliate with theirs? They threatened legal action but said it would be easier/cheaper for all concerned if i sold the domain/site to them just so they could get rid of it!!
    I definately learnt my lesson and will be extremely careful in choosing my domain name and those brands that are associated with them!

    Nick DJ

    July 26, 2008 at 4:34 pm
  • Stephen B

    The name was taken of the initial
    registrant and handed over to the washing powder company.
    I would hardly have thought that they owned the word ‘bounce’.
    If you look in the archives of disputes
    in Nominet you see several strange decisions.
    A tip: use your own name not your company to register a name. You will find it a lot easier to transfer it. Especially do not use a Ltd company to register a name. If that folds the name goes up for grabs, unless you can prove you have used it for a year. You do not automatically get the name even if you were the sole director of the company.
    The people in Nominet are allowed to register names too of course. I remember one of them won in a dispute over some name to do with netservers.

    September 4, 2008 at 10:23 pm
  • Michele

    The way the story was spun is amusing. If you read the decision in its entirety you’ll notice that CS Lewis’ estate wasn’t the only one that these people were interested in. The claims about their child make for good media coverage, but hide their true intentions


    September 5, 2008 at 1:30 am