Legal fight over iTunes UK domain

Posted by: Digital Geek

Legal fight over iTunes UK domain - 08/08/05 05:04 AM

An internet entrepreneur has suffered a legal setback in his battle to win back the iTunes domain name in the UK.

The High Court has rejected the application for a judicial review brought against the UK domain name registry, Nominet, by Benjamin Cohen.

Mr Cohen is contesting Nominet's decision in March to take itunes.co.uk from him and hand it over to Apple.

He told the BBC News website he is planning to continue to fight for the web address.

Legal process

Mr Cohen registered itunes.co.uk in 2000. But in March this year, he was forced to hand the web address to Apple, which has since used it to direct visitors to its iTunes music download service.

Nominet's judgement, dated the 10 March, stated that by offering to sell the domain name and by continuing to re-direct people from itunes.co.uk, Mr Cohen was abusing his registration.

In response, Mr Cohen, of Hackney, east London, accused Nominet of being biased against small businesses and applied to a High Court for a judicial review.

But the High Court has now rejected the application. The judge said it was flawed in several respects, noting that Mr Cohen had failed to use Nominet's service to resolve disputes.

Edward Phillips, Nominet's solicitor, said: "I am pleased that the judge has rejected Mr Cohen's case at the first possible opportunity, which leaves no doubt that it was without merit.

"We will now be looking at recovering our costs of defending this unnecessary action."

Mr Cohen has indicated he intends to continue the fight. His company, CyberBritain, has seven days from the date of the decision to apply to the court for an oral hearing.

"CyberBritain is considering its options together with its legal team. It is currently reviewing the decision and is strongly considering making an application for an oral hearing," said the company in a statement.

"We refute Nominet's allegation that it was an unnecessary action and hope that in the case of an oral hearing being pursued, the inherent unfairness of Nominet's dispute resolution service becomes apparent."

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