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RealTime IT News

A Win for the Little Guy

Ralph Lauren (as in Polo Ralph Lauren, the company , not the individual), has apparently stopped beating up on Keith Collingridge, a Web developer and Internet service provider in Woldingham, England, who recently registered the domain po-lo.com.

Polo Ralph Lauren, of course, operates the Polo.com luxury Web site on this side of the pond. Seems that someone at the company got their jodhpurs in a wad and directed its lawyers to send a cease-and-desist letter to the Englishman, who said he had registered the po-lo domain in order to deliver Web surfers to the site for Woldingham Saddlery , an equestrian site (rather horses and hounds, don't you know) run by Collingridge's wife.

The lawyers, in the letter sent last October, talked about seeking rather large sums of money for things like "infringement, false advertising and dilution of our client's valuable Polo Trademarks."

Accused cybersquatter Collingridge, silly man, countered that polo is rather the sport of kings, has been in his country for hundreds of years and is not exactly copyrightable. But he did put up a link from po-lo.com to the Polo Ralph Lauren site, for any dazed and confused wanderers who might not be able to tell the difference.

Now comes word from his solicitors (that's English-type English for lawyers) that Collingridge received a letter from Ralph Lauren's attorneys stating: "At this time, Polo has decided not to take any further action in connection with your registration of the subject domain name."

Collingridge told internetnews.com: "You know, if you're going to get someone there like these big bully boy lawyers that threaten you, what's happening is most people will panic and hand the doman name over. If you have the right to the domain name, you shouldn't give it up without a fight. If you're in the right, you should stick to your principles."

A spokesperson for Polo Ralph Lauren did return a call from internetnews.com, but was unable to comment on the matter.

Ironically, British IT news site The Register said that "Matthew Rippon, Collingridge's lawyer, is so chuffed (sic) with his success that he has set up an email address for people with similar 'cybersquatting' disputes - he can be contacted at domaindefence@excite.co.uk."