RealTime IT News

Expedia Goes Global with Domain Name Dispute

Swedish company Spray Market this week became the first known firm to register a domain name which resulted in a dispute of a country code top level domain.

According to a complaint registered by Microsoft Corp. unit Expedia Inc. with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the online travel company is protesting the use of "expedia.nu," which has been registered with .NU Domain Ltd.

.NU Domain President and Founder Bill Semich said Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) had orginated the complaint months ago, when it owned the trademark for the word expedia. Expedia (EXPE) has since become its own business and said the registration is a copyright infringement.

"This case represents the first ccTLD domain name case filed with the Center,'' said Francis Gurry, director of the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center. "As country-code administrators, .NU Domain clearly understands the importance of the policy for reducing intellectual property infringements in the country code-top level domains. We hope that others will follow their lead in supporting the UDRP."

Semich said the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy adopted by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) last August, keeps Expedia or other companies that may post complaints from chasing .NU Domain. Instead, the rule puts accountability on the company that has registered the domain name.

The .NU Domain Ltd announced adoption of the UDRP for all .NU registrations in October of 1999 and recently retained the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center as one of its dispute resolution service providers.

.NU Domain Ltd, which competes with Network Solutions Inc. (NSOL) is focused on serving end users and the small office/home office market, as well as Internet users in countries with restrictions on the domain name registration process.