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A recent case in which web searches for a pioneering psychologist led to a website selling shoes and clothes shows the extent to which Nominet, the Internet watchdog, will act to protect the rights that people have in their own names.
The psychologist had a high media profile and objected to the use of a domain name that consisted of his personal name in full, followed by .co.uk. The domain pointed to the shopping website, with which he had no connection but which prominently displayed his name on its home page.
In upholding his complaint, a Nominet expert found that he had established rights in his name, under which he traded, and it was identical to the domain name. The woman who had registered the domain had not responded to his complaint and had given no explanation as to any link between him and the shopping site.
In directing that the domain be transferred to the psychologist, the expert found that it was being used in a manner that was detrimental to his rights and was an abusive registration in the woman's hands.