BITTER rivalry between car breaking businesses in Dewsbury exploded on to the internet and has culminated in one of them being ordered to hand over its web domain name to the other.
Within days of Dewsbury Auto Dismantlers (DAD) opening its doors to customers in November 2010, long-established competitors, Dewsbury Auto Salvage Ltd (DAS), which has been going since 1988, registered the domain name of dewsburyautodismantlers.co.uk
The result was a venomous row between the competitors, with each bad-mouthing the other’s business and DAD accused DAS of grabbing the domain name in a deliberate bid to confuse potential customers by ‘impersonating’ its rival.
DAS insisted it had done nothing of the kind. It insisted it had “every right” to register the domain name, claiming DAD had deliberately chosen a similar trading name in a bid to divert away a customer base DAS had taken years to establish.
Now Nominet, the body that allocates and polices internet domain names in the UK, has intervened in the dispute and ordered DAS to hand over the domain name to DAD free of charge.
Steven Maier, the independent expert appointed by Nominet to resolve the row, said: “On the balance of probabilities, DAS registered the domain name in response to DAD setting up business under the name Dewsbury Auto Dismantlers.
“DAS had traded under another name for 22 years prior to DAD’s emergence and, to have registered a domain name which almost exactly reflected DAD’s name within days of DAD commencing in business is simply too great a coincidence.
“I conclude, therefore, that DAS registered the domain name primarily as a blocking registration against a name or mark in which DAD has rights or for the purpose of unfairly disrupting the business of DAD.”
Ruling that the domain name is “abusive” in DAS’ hands, Mr Maier said it was “highly likely” to confuse customers and took “unfair advantage” of DAD’s rights.