Nintendo loses legal claim to WiiU.com domain name
11:30 AM on 07.02.2013 // Abel Girmay
Not exactly the cyber-squatting case some thought it would be
After filing a formal complaint with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center to gain ownership of the domain name WiiU.com, an official ruling has been handed down in favor of Andy Tran, the current owner of the domain name, not Nintendo. The original complaint was filed on February 16 of this year, and has now come to a seemingly decisive close. The decision ultimately came down to the fact that WiiU.com had existed in some capacity since 2004 when Tran registered it as part of a venture capitalist firm, We Invest in You.
For those of you unfamiliar, these tend to be clear-cut cases of borderline extortion, when a person registers a domain name associated with a popular entity in order to turn around and sell it to the owners of that brand, company, product, etc. Considering that WiiU.com has been around since before the original Wii, this ruling is perhaps not much of a shock. A full breakdown of the ruling can be read here, on the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center website.
In any case, Nintendo is not content to back down after this decision. In a statement given to Eurogamer, Nintendo claims it has, "a strong history of protecting against infringement of our intellectual property rights and we are continuing to review our legal options. This decision does not impact Nintendo's ability to enforce against violations concerning intellectual property."
The company clearly believes it has a rightful claim to the name, and arguably, it does. I just don't see a scenario where Nintendo ends up owning the domain without cutting a check to its current owner.
Nintendo loses WiiU.com domain dispute [Eurogamer] Setup email comments
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