The Supreme Court of Queensland has
enacted one of the first successful actions against Internet
domain name squatting, by granting orders to proceed with the eviction of a
company using the domain name ‘bartercard.org’.
At a hearing of an application for interlocutory injunctions on November 19, the Court granted orders in favour of international trade exchange Bartercard, restraining rival Ashton Hall from using the Bartercard name or trademark.
This restriction included preventing the company from using the Bartercard name within a Web site URL or email address.
The injunction was part of a number of orders brought forward by Bartercard to prevent Ashton Hall from using its name, as it qualified as an infringement of the company’s trademark.
“We sought and were granted specific orders that they could not use our name as part of any URL, http or email address,” said Bartercard’s Australia marketing manager Laurie Muir.
Bartercard lawyers claimed the ‘bartercard.org’ site was “substantially reproducing” member information in Bartercard’s National Directory and its bartercard.com site.
According to Bartercard, these resources have become increasingly important, as next year the company plans to launch a portal where members can trade goods and services across national and international boundaries. It is also intending to launch an auction site.
“We hope this sets a precedent for companies with lots of money invested online, and prevents this from happening in future,” said Muir.