Apple claims victory over iTunes.co.uk

The original owner of the domain is considering an appeal in the ongoing cybersquatting battle

Apple has won a legal dispute to force a UK firm it accused of cybersquatting to hand over the domain ownership for the iTunes.co.uk Web address.

Apple issued proceedings against CyberBritain in December last year through the UK domain registration authority Nominet, claiming ownership of the domain should be transferred to Apple because it holds the iTunes trademark.

CyberBritain CEO and former dot-com teenage millionaire Benjamin Cohen accused Apple of bullying tactics and said he had registered the iTunes.co.uk domain a month before Apple's trademark application was published back in December 2000 and some three years before its online music download service launched.

Cohen maintains his motives for registering the domain were innocent and that he turned down a cash offer from Apple for the domain as it could have been interpreted as intent to profit from Apple's trademark.

But the Nominet dispute resolution service has found in favour of Apple and ordered CyberBritain to hand over iTunes.co.uk.

Cohen said he is currently considering his next move, which may be an appeal either directly to Nominet or to the High Court. Until the appeal Cohen maintains he will continue to use iTunes.co.uk as a redirect to his own company's shopping Web site.