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Apple wins domain, faces possible appeal

updated 12:05 pm EST, Tue March 15, 2005

Apple wins

A small British business involved in a legal battle with Apple is considering taking its case to the High Court after being ordered to , according to The Times Online: "Benjamin Cohen, the chief executive of CyberBritain Holdings, denies he is a 'cyber squatter' and claims he properly registered the domain name a month before Apple's application for a British trademark for iTunes was made public. However, Nominet, the UK internet registry, today found that Mr Cohen had made an 'abusive registration' and ruled that the domain name should be transferred to Apple."

According to the report, the domain name registrar Nominet can force transfer of domain names if "the respondent is using the domain name in a way which has confused people or businesses into believing that the domain name is registered to, operated or authorised by, or otherwise connected with the complainant".

Cohen claims that he was unware of Apple's trademark filing, which he says was kept completely confidential until a month after he registered the domain. Pending the appeal, the domain will continue to be forwarded to the Napster section of, a shopping website owned by CyberBritain Holdings. The website appears to have various commission-based relationships with internet retailers and is offering 7.50 as an incentive for signing up with the site and registering for Napster.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Zang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    A little fishy...

    Anyone notice that visiting forwards you to a Napster sign-up page?

  1. beeble

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Aren't trademarks covered internationally by a treaty or something? You don't have to register with anyone to have a trademark, you just have to say that it's a trademark, a lot like copyright. That's the difference between tm (trademark) and rm (registered trademark). Just because Apple had filed for a registered mark a month after the guy got the domain doesn't mean Apple didn't have a legitimate trademark before he did. Was iTunes available in the UK before he registered the domain? Yes. Did it appear with the tm symbol next to it? Yes. Seems like an open and shut case to me.

  1. PookJP

    Joined: Dec 1969



    That's most likely just his reaction to Apple. It's his way of sticking it to them on account of the lawsuit. I wouldn't look for a larger scheme here.

  1. zdezyne

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Cyber Squatters...


    It blows when you come up with a domain name only to find that some dipwad registered the name for 10 years, has no legitimate use for it, and is hoping someone will pay an exorbitant fee to purchase it. Lame.

  1. sribe

    Joined: Dec 1969


    fishy excuse

    He keeps saying he got the domain before Apple applied for a UK trademark. That is irrelevant. The question he should be answering is: was Apple's use of the iTunes name public knowledge before he got the domain? I bet the answer is yes. If he really were innocent of abusive intent then he would be saying that he registered the domain before he had heard of Apple's iTunes, instead of clinging to some technicality that only he finds meaningful.

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