20i Domains

.Ltd question

Discussion in 'Domain Name Disputes' started by Oceanic, Oct 23, 2020.

  1. Oceanic

    Oceanic Active Member

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    I have a client with a UK Ltd company, and I have seen a non-Ltd business operating in their service area using my clients companyname.ltd even though they are not a registered Ltd business (Sole Trader).

    We spoke to Companies House about this and they said there is a definite issue with them referring to themselves as the co name and using Ltd when they are not Ltd. It's possible to raise a case but I'm told it can take a long time to resolve, maybe longer now we are in Covid times.

    When I try and register a .Ltd co domain name they request company formation details, so I'm a little uncertain how this individual trader managed to register his .Ltd domain. Any thoughts on which organisation we should approach or any known dispute process on the misuse of the domain?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Domain Forum

    Acorn Domains Elite Member

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    articles.co.uk
     
  3. lazarus

    lazarus Well-Known Member Exclusive Member

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    Your client must protect their online identity when another is claiming to be the ltd entity in the UK.

    If the company name is word for word it should almost certainly be seen as "passing off"
    I reckon your client has a good case to move forward with a Nominet DRS.

    Cheers, Laz
     
  4. Oceanic

    Oceanic Active Member

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    Thanks Laz

    It's an exact copy.

    Client : Example Name Ltd
    3rd party website www.examplename.ltd
     
  5. lazarus

    lazarus Well-Known Member Exclusive Member

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  6. Oceanic

    Oceanic Active Member

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    No it's a .Ltd
     
  7. Trauiner United Kingdom

    Trauiner Active Member

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    Not sure you would actually have a case here.

    .LTD aren't UK only. It's all of Europe, Canada and I believe US also(?).

    So having a .LTD extension doesn't technically mean you're saying it's a UK LTD business.
     
  8. Oceanic

    Oceanic Active Member

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    I see, the sole trader in question is UK based and in my clients local area too if that would help? Thanks
     
  9. Trauiner United Kingdom

    Trauiner Active Member

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    The issue would still come back to the fact that a .LTD domain doesn't mean it's a UK company.

    He could have a LTD company in Canada, or Guernsey etc.

    I would say you only have a case if he was stating on the website he's a UK LTD company. Otherwise, it's hard to argue he's stating he's a UK LTD company and using the LTD incorrectly/unlawfully.
     
  10. gregfindley

    gregfindley Well-Known Member

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    This sounds less like a domain name dispute, as much as an IP dispute for passing off.
    • Does your client have any trademarks on their name/logo?
    • Is the company name something generic, or more personal to your client?
    • What's the trading history, when did your clients business start and when did the competitor start?
    If it's not a generic name and you believe local customers could easily be confused by the sole trader, then I would advise the client to speak to a local IP solicitor and look at having a letter before action sent.

    If there's no TMs then it would be a passing off claim, which can be difficult to prove, unless your client has a longer period of using the name and has built up goodwill for the name.

    There's a chance that a letter before action might force the sole trader to rethink their business name, and their domain as a result - especially if your client has deep pockets (or at the least the sole trader believes your client does!).
     
  11. dee

    dee Well-Known Member Acorn Supporter

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    Really ? I own three of the most popular surnames in .LTD from when they launched and I never got asked for any details ? It was just like regitering a com or a net.
     
  12. lazarus

    lazarus Well-Known Member Exclusive Member

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    Hi @Oceanic

    Sorry, I thought you meant is was a .ltd.uk
    I that case a Nominet DRS is not your route.

    Plenty of advice above!

    Cheers, Laz