11:28 10 July 2015
A Berkshire-based fancy-dress retailer that uses the domain name starwars.com.uk to send internet users to its Joker’s Masquerade store dedicated to Star Wars-themed costumes, have been ordered to surrender the web address to Disney.
The British company, which uses the domain name for more than a decade, was already asked to surrender it last year but refused. The costume store parent company, Abscissa, is also told to give up other starwars-related domain names (starwars.uk, star-wars.uk, star-wars.co.uk, starwarsco.uk, starwarsco.co.uk, and star-warsco.co.uk).
Mark Lewis, Abscissa's chief executive, said: "If the new Star Wars films by Disney were not being released, we wouldn't be having this discussion.”
"They wanted the starwars.uk domain, they haven't [got it], and in essence they've thrown their teddies out of the pram.
"That's how we feel. Are we disappointed? Yes. Are we surprised? Not necessarily."
Walt Disney Company, which bought Lucasfilm, the production company behind Starwars, said that it had acquired all intellectual rights surrounding the Star Wars franchise as part of the $4.1bn deal.
Meanwhile, Steve Ormand from Nominet, which oversees .uk domains said: "Star Wars cannot sensibly refer to anyone else other than the complainant.”
"It is highly likely in my view that any user searching for Star Wars and arriving at the respondent's website will have suffered initial interest, confusion and falsely inferred a commercial connection with the complainant.
"I am also satisfied that the respondent has taken advantage of the 'pulling power' of the name Star Wars to attract users to its website."
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