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Irish and international media’s interest was sparked in recent months by the dispute over the domain narnia.mobi
Now unless you’ve been living in a very dark cave far away from the rest of civilised society for the last fifty years, then you’d know that Narnia is the literary invention of CS Lewis. You might also know that Disney has made two films based on the first two books in the Narnia series, with more due to be made.
So what was the dispute about?
According to the registrant:
The Respondent asserts that the sole reason for registering the
disputed domain name was to provide his son with an email address
containing “Narnia” as a gift. According to the Respondent, his son is
an enthusiastic fan of “The Chronicles of Narnia” books. The Respondent
registered the disputed domain name shortly after the release of the
first “Narnia” movie, at which time his son was nine years old. The
Respondent alleges he decided to present his son with this gift on the
event of his eleventh birthday on May 20, 2008, corresponding to the
release of the second “Narnia” film in the United Kingdom of Great
Britain and Northern Ireland (“United Kingdom”).
So the question I’d have to ask is why the respondent deemed it necessary to register someone else’s trademark. If all they wanted was a domain “containing” Narnia surely they could have opted for something else?
While the decision was, in many respects, a forgone conclusion, there are some interesting points raised in the decision about what exactly constitutes “bad faith” and how the burden of proof might be distributed.