Geneva: Microsoft has won a battle over a pornographic website with an address “confusingly similar” to its famous MSN trademark, the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) has ruled.
The US software giant felt Spanish company Mediaweb registered the domain name “msnporno.com” in bad faith as it directed users to an explicit site entitled “porno” in a style that resembled Microsofts own MSN logo.
A multi-coloured rabbit head, which looked like the butterfly used by Microsoft on its own popular Internet portals, was also displayed on the website, prompting the firm to lodge a complaint with the Geneva-based WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Centre in July.
WIPO panelist Tobias Zuberbuhler, who studied the case earlier this month, found in favour of Microsoft and ruled that Mediaweb must return the domain name to the US software leader.
“The panel holds that the domain name is confusingly similiar to the registered trademarks in which the complainant has rights,” Zuberbuhler wrote in a statement. “(And) that the respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name, and that the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith,” he said.