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Dispute over .uk

But if the registration was made purely for the intent to sell the domain at a later date, is that not an abusive registration? Knowing that the client would own the .co.uk?

The seller could argue that it wasn't registered with the intention of selling to the buyer of the .co.uk at a later date and that other parties would have an interest in purchasing the .uk

All this assumes the seller hadn't taken payment for the .co.uk or agreed a sale prior to registering the .uk
At the time of the enquiry, it sounds like right of registration was in place, which legally gives them rights to the .uk. The fact you've sold a few domains without, or that he was rude, or anything else matters not, it is all about the status of the .uk at the time. I think you might have to give this one up.
I truly believe the OP knows the answer to his initial question; and should do the right thing. I believe he would have, had his customer adopted a more positive attitude on the date of purchase. There are two things I would add. 1) Generally speaking, two wrongs don't make a right. Try and avoid going there. 2) When you're in a customer facing business, generally it's in your interests to give the customer the benefit of doubt. That promotes repeat purchase and word of mouth recommendation. This customer has given you £6k of his hard earned - for the sake of £5, you've alienated him and are in danger of dragging your business through the mud. I would encourage you to be decisive, give your customer a lovely little Christmas present. :)

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