WIPO sides with CS Lewis estate

The Chronicles of Narnia.mobi
The Chronicles of Narnia.mobi

It was a case of Goliath 1 David 0 as the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) voted that the narnia.mobi case should be taken away from a Scottish family and given to Narnia author CS Lewis' estate.

Richard and Gillian Saville-Smith, who run a PR company, had bought the domain, along with several others, claiming that it was a gift for their then-9-year-old son.

However, WIPO has sided with the estate of the author of such classic books as The Lion the With and the Wardrobe and Prince Caspian – both set in the land of Narnia.

It appears that the Saville-Smith's decision to register other domains with the word Narnia like freenarnia.com and freenarnia.mobi, along with the presence of adverts on other domains he had registered was enough to convince the panel to side with the complainant.

Cybersquatting discussion

"After reviewing the Complainant's Supplemental Filing, the Panel finds that the Complainant reasonably could not have anticipated that the Respondent's would argue that his prior domain name registrations rebut a claim of cybersquatting," reads the ruling.

"The Panel considers it to be the Respondent who put this matter in issue, and the Complainant has documented in its Supplemental Filing the Respondent's registration of some twelve additional .mobi domain names at or near the time of the registration of the disputed domain name.

"All but one of these additional domain names are being used with Sedo parking sites containing advertising links. Although the Respondent claims that he registered only "generic" domain names, five of these domain names appear to implicate third-party trademark rights.

"The Panel also concludes that the Respondent's registration following the filing of the Complaint of two further domain names reflecting the Complainant's NARNIA mark, and , is sufficiently pertinent that such information should be made a part of the record, given the Respondent's position that previously he has registered only generic domain names that do not involve third-party trademark rights."

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.