Luxury car manufacturer wins separate legal battles over domain names


British car makers Jaguar, known primarily for their superb craftsmanship of sports vehicles, are recently becoming notorious as a company you do not want to mess with online. Just like the great jungle cat itself, Jaguar are powerful and vicious when it comes to taking down an enemy – in this case, two companies that attempted to extort the manufacturers via domain names.

One firm called Myrtle Ltd, were forced to hand over registered domain names such as ‘jagheadlinings.co.uk,’ and ‘jaguarxk8.co.uk’ after being found guilty of abusive registration. Similarly, Big Marketing Limited had to give back purchased domains which infringed on many trademarks, such as ‘Jaguar,’ and ‘E-Type.’ In both cases, Jaguar went to independent internet watchdog Nominet to solve the matter. Big Marketing Limited actually offered to sell the domains to Jaguar for £150 each (approx. $200), but as there were 47 names purchased, the amount came to £7,000 (approx. $9,200) – money that Jaguar was obviously not interested in parting with.

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The practice of buying domain names with the intention of selling them to the highest bidder, is in fact totally legal and a very common occurrence nowadays. In some instances, millions are spent to purchase domain names that were first snapped up by someone else. ‘vacationrentals.com’ ($35,000,000), ‘privateJets.com’ ($30,180,000) and ‘insure.com’ ($16,000,000) are some of the highest-priced domains that were purchased; all were sold by thrifty persons who rolled the dice, so to speak, and won out big time.

However, as this 1&1 article explains, a lot of care is needed before considering purchasing a name with the intention of selling it on later: “Barring any form of copyright or trademark violation, virtually any domain name can be bought or sold. Generic domain names, such as car.com or computer.com, are not legally protected and can therefore theoretically be reserved by anyone.” As long as you’re not stepping on anyone’s toes, buying and selling domains is a method in which you can stand to make a considerable amount of money.

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Although these were battles Jaguar won easily enough, they have also been on the losing side in some circumstances. One of their fantastic adverts – part of their ‘villain’ series with actor Tom Hiddleston – was deemed unsuitable because it may encourage driving that is irresponsible, and consequently banned from TV. Even though many consider their cars to be some of the best in the world, Jaguar were also made fun of in a rather peculiar manner, when a disgruntled XF model owner in India made a show of using donkeys to drag the vehicle to a dealership, essentially stating that the animals were faster and more reliable than his car.