Victoria’s Secret Wrests Confusing Web Address from Beauty Therapist

International brands require huge investment to establish and traders, big and small, cannot expect to get away with taking unauthorised advantage of their goodwill. In one case exactly on point a beauty therapist incurred the wrath of US lingerie giant Victoria’s Secret, by christening her website with a confusingly similar name.

The therapist had named her salon Victoria Secret Beauty and the American retailer complained to Internet dispute resolution service Nominet after she registered the domain name victoriasecretbeauty.co.uk. Victoria’s Secret had offered to pay her $2,500 to part with the domain name but she had described that as a paltry sum.

In upholding the complaint, Nominet rejected as not credible the therapist’s claim that she had never heard of Victoria’s Secret prior to registering the domain name. She had previously employed a logo very similar to that of the retailer and had used the web address to gain a business advantage by riding on the coat-tails of the well-known brand. Nominet directed the transfer of the disputed domain name to the retailer’s brand management subsidiary.

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