Derby domain name spat

Posted: 24th June 2015

ComputerIf you are planning a new venture or product launch, registering relevant Internet domain names in advance is essential. One local authority which failed to do so ended up in costly dispute with a member of the public who got there first.

Two days after Derby City Council announced its plans to develop a state-of-the-art new sports arena, businessman Ranmeet Ghuman registered the domain name ‘derbyarena.co.uk’. The domain name was the logical one to host the arena’s website and the council had to delay its online deployment pending resolution of the dispute.

The council complained to the online dispute resolution service, Nominet. However, Ghuman responded that he had made every effort to resolve the matter amicably. He denied that he had registered the domain name with the intention of selling it to the council at a profit. He had offered to maintain and run the website at no cost to the council, in return for a fair cut of revenues.

The Nominet expert appointed to resolve the dispute found that the domain name was an abusive registration in Mr Ghuman’s hands and directed its transfer to the council. The unavailability of the domain name had disrupted the council’s plans and it was 'inconceivable' that Mr Ghuman had been unaware of the arena proposals when he registered the domain name.