What’s in a Name? A Great Deal If Your Name is Also Your Fortune!

What’s in a name? The answer to that question is ‘rather a lot’ if you happen to be a media personality or anyone else whose name is their fortune. In a case on point, a popular radio and television presenter took effective steps to prevent the continued use of her name by an online clothing emporium.

The presenter, via her trading company, complained to internet watchdog, Nominet, after a man with whom she had no connection registered a domain name in the form of her combined Christian and surnames, with the addition of .co.uk. She claimed that the registration had led to confusion and that her fans were surprised when, on typing her name into the internet, they arrived at a cut-price clothing store.

Despite the absence of specific evidence of confusion, a Nominet expert found her complaint plausible, given her high public profile. The man had given no explanation as to why he chose the domain name and the website displayed neither contact information for its operators nor a disclaimer relating to the use of a personal name. There was a likelihood that he was aware of the woman’s reputation and was seeking to make unfair use of her name. The expert ruled the registration abusive and directed that the domain name be transferred to the presenter.

Boom Productions v Medhurst. Case Number: D00021261