The parent company of the Banbury Cake has won a legal fight to have an internet website address bearing the newspaper’s name handed over to it.
The paper’s publishers, Newsquest Media Group, have won a ruling ordering a Canadian company to hand over ownership of the domain banburycake.co.uk, following ruling that it had been registered ‘abusively”.
Matthew Harris, expert from Nominet, the UK’s internet domain name dispute resolution service, backed its claim against Brainfire Group, of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, that readers could be confused into thinking that Brainfire’s website was run by the Cake.
In a decision just published, Harris says that the domain name was registered on 1 February 2005 and currently links to a web page showing the heading banburycake.co.uk – what you need, when you need it’ and a number of links, mostly relating to employment, which lead to a web page consisting of internet search results provided by information.com.
Newsquest had sought transfer of the registration of the domain name to itself on the grounds that it is identical to a name in which it has rights enforceable under English law.
Newsquest successfully argued that the Banbury Cake is a well established and highly respected newspaper in the United Kingdom with a strong regional identity and valuable goodwill in the community it serves.
‘The respondent has taken unfair advantage of these rights by registering a domain name identical to the name of the complainant’s newspaper,” Harris concluded.
‘The abuse of the name ‘Banbury Cake’ by the respondent is alleged to cause confusion to the general public. It is claimed that the readers of the Banbury Cake are likely to believe that the domain name is operated by or in some way connected to the newspaper.”
He added that Brainfire had been found to have made abusive registrations in at least four dispute resolution service cases in the last two years.
Earlier this month, Newsquest won similar rulings over cybersquatters who had registered domains using the names of the Bradford Telegraph and Argus and the Oxford Mail.