Brands: The hijacking of Internet domain names - Marks & Spencer and other well-known businesses succeed against a hijacker

United Kingdom

The practice of hijacking Internet domain names has finally been the subject of a full English Court decision. In a case brought by Marks & Spencer and other household names against the registrants of domain names such as, and, the Court granted mandatory injunctions forcing the defendants to assign the domain names to their rightful owners. This case follows on from the first domain name piracy case in the UK brought by Harrods. In that case Harrods succeeded in obtaining relief without the need for consideration of the matter by the Court because no defence was offered. It is now clear that the Courts will not tolerate the deliberate attempts of domain name pirates to register the trade marks of others and it is to be hoped that the practice will now cease. Our article on page 12 reviews this case in more detail together with other recent Internet developments.