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#436673 - 12th Oct 2010 1:54pm Kirwans Solicitors win bid for web address
bushnut Offline
Member

Registered: 20th May 2010
Posts: 84
Loc: Wirral
Merseyside law firm Kirwans wins bid for web address after gay sex store redirection

Wirral News website

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#436676 - 12th Oct 2010 2:06pm Re: Kirwans Solicitors win bid for web address [Re: bushnut]
DJ_Karl_David Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 4th May 2009
Posts: 1151
Loc: Birkenhead
maybe dr can give us more info on this?

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#436682 - 12th Oct 2010 2:31pm Re: Kirwans Solicitors win bid for web address [Re: DJ_Karl_David]
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
It's nice to see the authorities and courts do take cybersquatting seriously, especially in such a small profile case involving a local business. All too often, you see the big boys being able to gain control of domain names that are registered in bad faith with malicious intent, but it's very rare you ever hear of smaller companies and organisations successfully taking cybersquatters to court.

Cybersquatting and typosquatting annoy me because for someone who is tech-savvy or internet-savvy like myself, we realise what is going on, but for people who are not so, it can be confusing and even be used to scam them, portray an incorrect picture of a company or simply to make money out of advertising and passing trade. It is used a lot by companies who are too tight to pay for proper advertising so attempt to trade on the good name of others, and I have had it happen to myself a few years back. In this case, it appears the offender wanted to either gain trade by using the domain name, or to simply annoy/confuse innocent people - how many people genuinely looking for a solicitor, would like to end up at an online sex store? Regardless of what they say the intent was (which does sound somewhat genuine), it is pretty obvious that they were making use of the particular name, knowing full well a local solicitors trades under that name and it could cause needless confusion.

Watch out Mark, next it will be wikiworral.co.uk being re-directed to a online sex store!!

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#436706 - 12th Oct 2010 5:33pm Re: Kirwans Solicitors win bid for web address [Re: MattLFC]
phalinmegob Offline

Wise One

Registered: 26th Dec 2008
Posts: 818
Loc: tranmere
excuse my ignorance matt, but what is typosquatting?..is it like the famous barby rather than barbie.com type thing

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#436709 - 12th Oct 2010 5:45pm Re: Kirwans Solicitors win bid for web address [Re: phalinmegob]
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
A typosquat is when a cybersquatter registers a domain name that copies a popular name or brand etc, but with a common typing error that could be made on a standard QWERTY keyboard, and then directing the domain name to a different website for malicious reasons or self-gain etc.

For instance, registering wikiworral.co.uk and directing it to a site other than wikiwirral.co.uk, for malicious reasons or self-gain, would be a typosquat because people would end up there through mis-typing (the "o" being next to the "i" on standard QWERTY keyboard). Registering wikiwirral.com and directing it elsewhere would be a cybersquat.

barby.com as opposed to barbie.com for instance, would be a mixture of the two I think, simply because both could be correct spellings of the word, but a cybersquatter may register barby.com in an attempt to take advantage of those who don't know the doll brand Barbie is spelt with an ie, so it sort of becomes a typosquat as well.

Gogle, goggle, googler etc... could all be interpreted as typosquats of Google.

In addition, it's very rare for someone to cybersquat or typosquat for any reason other that of malicious intent and/or self gain, it's extremely rare that cybersquatters can find genuine reasons, and prove in a court of law that they were genuine in their acquisition, ownership and usage of a cybersquatted domain name. I mean if you owned a physical company trading under the name of "Kirwans" or you were running a personal/family website and your second name for instance was Kirwan, then there is good reason for you to have the domain name, even moreso if you have never previously had dealings or where aware of other companies trading under the same/similar names in your local area and/or sector. However in most other circumstances, especially if you had previously had dealings with a company of a similar name, and/or you were aware of their existance, then it is hard to argue that you were not, in the eyes of the law at least, cybersquatting, regardless of your intent. To register a domain name, imitating a local company that one has had dealings with, and is well aware of, and then directing the domain name to a website/company trading under a completely different name to the domain name, is undoubtedly cybersquatting.

I seem to recall in cases where two local business's are arguing over the usage of a domain name, the law tends to favour the business that was first incorporated under that name, and then they take into account the business that first had a web presence and under what domain name(s)... though im not an expert in the field, so could be wrong.

Hope that helps and I havent confused things lol smile

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#436726 - 12th Oct 2010 7:02pm Re: Kirwans Solicitors win bid for web address [Re: MattLFC]
phalinmegob Offline

Wise One

Registered: 26th Dec 2008
Posts: 818
Loc: tranmere
thanks

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#436731 - 12th Oct 2010 7:43pm Re: Kirwans Solicitors win bid for web address [Re: phalinmegob]
hoseman Offline
Forum Master

Registered: 30th Sep 2007
Posts: 2346
Loc: Bromborough
Im VONFUSED.COM now!!!! wink
_________________________
IF IT HAS A HOSE THEN IM YOUR MAN

BETTER TO BURN OUT THAN FADE AWAY!

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#436741 - 12th Oct 2010 8:25pm Re: Kirwans Solicitors win bid for web address [Re: hoseman]
Rover Offline
Newbeee

Registered: 29th Sep 2010
Posts: 12
Loc: Moreton
Try gocompaer.com

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#436771 - 13th Oct 2010 12:53am Re: Kirwans Solicitors win bid for web address [Re: Rover]
TheDr Offline
Forum Master

Registered: 23rd Feb 2010
Posts: 2631
Loc: Wirral
Hi, all, thought I'd chip in on this subject, especially, as I think everyone knows, Dr Cooke is me.

First of all I'd like to say a big thank you to MattLFC for explaining how helpful it was that courts dealt with this in such a way,it seems it doesn't matter that it hasn't gone to court (yet, but I'll deal with that later), and how cybersquatting is a terrible thing, again, agreed, but there is no suggestion by anyone (except MattLFC) that this was anything of the sort.

Quick History on the subject: I own a lot (a LOT) of domain names, I'm not into buying ones similar to other companies and I don't try to sell them on, they were all purchased either in connection with businesses I own (or did own) and/or friends/family names.

Eleven (almost twelve) years ago I was buying some domains and a friend asked me to get one for them, their surname was (and still is) Kirwan, that name was not available so the site suggested several alternatives, www.kirwans.co.uk being one of them, the domains where a few pounds a year so I bought it, having an account (which you needed at the time) the name was automatically registered in my name.

Now in 1999 when this domain was registered I was living in Cheshire, Kirwans Solicitors didn't operate there and had no offices there (actually they still don't), so it wasn't a "local" company to me.

In about 2002/2003 the domain started to get some mail intended for Kirwans Solicitors, at first this was just forwarded on to them, then we called their office and mentioned this mail and asked if they wanted the domain (and no not for some exorbitant price), they replied, by letter, which I still have (hoarder that I am) that they had "no interest" in the domain, that they were not called Kirwans they were Kirwans Solicitors and asking that we not forward any further mail to them in order to cut down on spam.

About a year later the name was used as part of a link to an adult website. I have dealt with many such companies over the years and this one has traded without a peep from Kirwans Solicitors for the past seven years.

Earlier this year Kirwans Solicitors underwent rebranding, changed its name, signage and letterheads to Kirwans, they then (I believe) decided that they wanted the www.kirwans.co.uk domain name.

Kirwans made a complaint to Nominet that I had registered an abusive registration, and that people wanting their webite could be directed to an adult store and this was causing distress to their staff and customers, I responded that this was untrue, that they only wanted the domain because they have rebranded, that they registered their domain BEFORE I registered mine (meaning it was available if they wanted it) and showing emails they had sent which discussed wanting the name BEFORE they knew about the adult site (one of the staff, being a bit thick, had filled in his reply address using @kirwans rather than @kirwanssolicitors so I received a copy of everything.

Nominet refused to transfer the name back to them, my reply showed how Kirwans Solicitors had manipulated the truth and given only the information that they wanted to be seen in their complaint (photo's of their NEW frontage showing Kirwans, without saying it was new, luckily Google Street view still has their original on display, their NEW letterheads, similar story etc etc).

Kirwans Solicitors then took the case to an Independant Expert (appointed by Nominet) who reviewed the case, and it is his decision that Nominet abide by. I again pointed out that Kirwans Solicitors only wanted this domain as they had rebranded, to which they said that it was not that and that the website was causing them distress.

The Independant Expert (a solicitor) took Kirwans Solicitors side and ordered that the domain be transferred to them immediately.

As it stands at the moment the case is due for a judicial review and, because of the way the case was handled by the Independant Expert, it is also being reviewed by the SRA (Solicitors Regulation Authority). Basically Kirwans Solicitors, and the expert, were in touch and in fact know each other, despite him having made a sworn statement that he knows of no conflict as part of Nominets procedure. As I said, someone in the firm is a bit thick (I know who as their name forms part of the email but for legal reasons I cannot say who this is) and I received copies of their messages. Kirwans Solicitors also made several claims in their complaint which were later proven to have no basis in fact whatsoever (that may mean that they were lies but of course I could not possibly comment).

A few things to note, I used Kirwans Solicitors for a case against a company in 2006, David Kirwan met me several times times then and nothing was ever mentioned about this, oh and the case was won, so I didn't really have any grudge.

It is of interest to note the comment made by a senior partner in the firm to Ben Schofield, (the reporter) that
Quote:
We decided to get control of the kirwans.co.uk domain earlier this year as part of a major rebranding for the firm, intended to reflect its significant growth during recent years.

“Until then, it had not really been an issue because our existing domain, www.kirwanssolicitors.co.uk, was widely known and highly ranked in search engines.
which is strange as that is EXACTLY what I had said in my reply to Nominet, and which Michael Sandys (the author of this quote, AND the senior partner who complained to Nominet) had denied only a few month earlier.

I have spoken to Nominet today and they are again reviewing the case in light of this new evidence, I don't think this is over yet.

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#436780 - 13th Oct 2010 8:02am Re: Kirwans Solicitors win bid for web address [Re: TheDr]
bert1 Offline

Wiki Veteran

Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7948
Loc: tranmere
Solicitors in general and Gay sex stores are very similar, paying a bill for their services they can both make you feel you've been screwed.
_________________________
God help us,
Come yourself,
Don't send Jesus,
This is no place for children.


Bertieone.

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#436791 - 13th Oct 2010 9:51am Re: Kirwans Solicitors win bid for web address [Re: bert1]
Pinzgauer
Unregistered


"My Daddy's a solicitor" said one little boy to another.

"Honest ?" asked his friend.

"No, just the regular kind" said the first boy.



(Yes, I know this should have beeen in the "joke" section, but it seems so apt.)

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#436833 - 13th Oct 2010 1:59pm Re: Kirwans Solicitors win bid for web address [Re: ]
SoundLad Offline

Are you SoNutz?
Forum Master

Registered: 22nd Aug 2007
Posts: 2988
Loc: Birkenhead, United Kingdom
So basically if i buy a domain name before somebody else and im no company or big corporation.. For example if i brought www.LeeDM.com and some company who rose above me wanted it and they filed a law suit because my site was an adult chat site for example.. They get first dibs because the company has money and ethics to actually own the domain?? Can i ask "TheDr" is Kirwans a registred trademark of the solicitors in general?? Because if its not then you who brought the domain back in 99 that belongs to you not them. smile I do apologise if no one can understand that but my punction is shite hehe. *thumbs up*
_________________________
Lee Mills


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#436834 - 13th Oct 2010 2:18pm Re: Kirwans Solicitors win bid for web address [Re: SoundLad]
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 10807
Loc: Birkenhead
Generally if you obtain a name first, and you make appropriate use of it, you are fairly safe, unless the name is the same as, or similar to a "well known brand".

Cases will generally go in favour of the big corporations, eg if you got www.bbc.tv you wouldn't have a hope in hell of retaining it, even if your name was "Barry Big Cuticles the TransVestite"

You can see arguments both ways - the www.kirwans.co.uk case will probably go against kirwans in the long run, they actively turned down the opportunity to obtain it and may have misled people with some of their statements. But if you look through the many past cases on www.nominet.org, it can be quite difficult and obscure how the arguments go.
_________________________
In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates

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