The lingerie chain Victoria's Secret has won the rights to four Internet domain names using its trademark, and has received $120,000 in compensation.
The Internet company Victoria's Cyber Secret had been cybersquatting the domain names victoriassexsecret.com, victoriassexysecret.com, victoriasexsecret.com and victoriasexysecret.com since March 2000. The sites had not yet gone live, but the company claimed that they had planned to use the domains for adult pornography sites starring Playboy playmate Victoria Silvstedt, according to the Associated Press.
But a US district court ruled last week that the domain names should be transferred back to the lingerie retailer, once it was revealed that Silvstedt had not authorised Victoria's Cyber Secret to use her name in any of its trademarks. She has severed future business dealings with the company.
The Internet company had registered the domain names in 1998, but a National Arbitration Forum (NAF) tribunal had ruled that the URLs should be returned to Victoria's Secret in March of last year because of trademark infringement. The respondent failed to comply with the order, so the lingerie company decided to pursue legal proceedings against the cybersquatters.
US district judge James Lawrence King repeated the NAF ruling, and issued an injunction against Victoria's Cyber Secret to prevent them from using the trademarks again. --Wendy McAuliffe, ZDNet UK