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Yahoo! wins transfer of 40 Internet domain names

GENEVA — U.S. Internet company Yahoo! Inc. won the rights to 40 Internet addresses in two rulings by United Nations arbitrators released Monday.

A three-member panel awarded it the names yahooemail.net, yahoofree.net, yahoofree.com and yahoochat.net, registered by Jorge Kirovsky of Colonia, Uruguay.

The domain names linked to another site registered by Kirovsky -- yahoo.com.uy, a Spanish-language site on pets. He subsequently registered yahoochat.cl, yahoofree.cl and miyahoo.cl, which connected to the same address, and established a business called yahoo S.R.L.

The arbitrators found that "Internet users are actually confused'' by the names, as the yahoo.com.uy site had received hundreds of e-mails apparently intended for Yahoo!

Kirovsky had claimed the Yahoo! trademark was largely unknown in Uruguay and that it "is the name of a dog in Uruguay.''

In a second case, Yahoo! and its GeoCities subsidiary won 36 addresses from six respondents with company addresses in the United States and in the central American nation of Belize.

The companies did not contest Yahoo!'s complaint that the domain names -- most involving misspellings, among them gecities.com, ayhoo.com and wwwgeocities.com -- were confusingly similar to its trademarks.

Anyone can register a domain name for about $100. The U.N. World Intellectual Property Organization's procedure to curb "cybersquatting'' was introduced last year. Before that, a corporation might have had to spend thousands of dollars to buy the rights to an address, or hundreds of thousands of dollars in litigation to stop its use.

Separately, Deutsche Bank was awarded the names deutschebankag.net, deutschebankag.org, deutschebank-ag.com, deutschebank-ag.org, deutschebank-ag.net, deutschebank-group.com, held by Multigestiones Puertonorte of Tenerife, in Spain's Canary Islands.

The German banking giant said the Spanish company's addresses led to a "Great Domains.com'' page that offered the names for sale. The firm did not respond to Deutsche Bank's complaint, and arbitrator Dawn Osborne ordered the names transferred.

On the Net:

Yahoo! rulings:



Deutsche Bank ruling: http://arbiter.wipo.int/domains/decisions/html/d2000-0559.html

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