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Online Cosmetics Guru’s Name is Her Fortune

What’s in a name? A great deal, according to a popular online cosmetics guru who succeeded in wresting control of an Internet domain name which consisted of her elided Christian and surnames with the addition of .co.uk.

The woman’s online make-up tutorials had attracted a legion of fans and, through her company, she marketed a successful cosmetics range. She complained to Internet watchdog Nominet when the domain name was registered by a brand strategy consultancy with whom she had been engaged in a financial dispute.

She claimed that that was a vindictive act, but the consultancy insisted that it had made fair use of the domain name and done nothing to disrupt her business. It argued that the woman’s personal name was merely generic, was likely to be shared by others and that she had no exclusive right to make use of it.

However, in upholding the woman’s complaint, Nominet noted that her name was protected by a trade mark. The registration was highly likely to give rise to public confusion and, even if the domain name had been registered in good faith, it was hard to see any justification for its retention by the consultancy. The domain name was an abusive registration in the consultancy’s hands and Nominet directed its transfer to the woman’s company.