Thursday 23 September 2004

What's in a name?

Surely some mistake here:
VISITSCOTLAND, the body responsible for tourism, spent £7.4 million developing its website but failed to buy up one of the most popular web versions of its name -
Well, it's not too late:
Anyone who types into an internet browser is told that the website is for sale
That's OK then, isn't it?

Not quite:

A spokesman for VisitScotland said the company did not view the sale of the domain name as a threat and had no intention of bidding for it.
But the government-funded tourist body has a plan in the event of someone purchasing the domain name:
"At the moment, there is no content on it. If someone was to buy it, it could be seen as something very similar to our own. If so, it could be seen as ‘passing off’ and then we would take the appropriate legal steps with the full force of the law."
Ah, that's all right. Instead of investing a few pounds to protect the expensively created brand there's always the option of spending tens of thousands on a lawsuit. Perhaps it's some kind of Keynesian job creation scheme for Edinburgh solicitors and advocates. You know it makes sense.

1 comment:

David Farrer said...

Comments made on previous template:

Neil Craig
What is happening here is that some Arthur Daly type bought up the name when Visit Scotland wasn't looking & is looking for a substantial ransom payment for it. While the name is indeed for sale I doubt very much if any competing company is going to be willing to pay as much as Visit Scotland have undoubtedly already refused to pay.  
This not free marketeering it is monopoly pricing of a good which is only valuable because of the potential purchaser's work not because of any value added by the spiv. It would be easy to blame Visit Scotland for not tying it up in advance but a number of competent people (eg Jerry Pournelle) have been caught this way because they have other priorities than fighting off leeches.

8 October 2004, 00:03:17 GMT+01:00
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Squander Two
I don't think they've investigated the law sufficiently on this one, and they might be in for a shock. As I understand trademark law, the trademark owner has a legal responsibility to protect their trademark. If they don't protect it, it is subject to trademark dilution, and quickly goes the way of hoovers, aspirin, and tannoys. Now, if someone outbids you for a domain name, that's one thing: at least you did bid. But, if you choose not to bother, and publicly not to bother at that, then that's going to come up in court as a failure to protect your trademark. Heh heh heh heh heh.

27 September 2004, 09:21:00 GMT+01:00
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David Farrer
Thank you David. I was born in Scotland with an English father and a Scottish mother. I lived in Scotland, then England, Scotland again, then England once more and now am back in Scotland. So British Humour and Scottish Humour are both OK.

26 September 2004, 06:01:39 GMT+01:00
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I don't know how the Scots take the term "British Humour," but is this what passes for Scottish humour? =) You provide a good laugh always, sir.

25 September 2004, 15:20:42 GMT+01:00