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June 16, 2008

Whew - Thank Goodness for WIPO [11:12 am]

I mean, no telling what a 10 year old Scot might do to besmirch C. S. Lewis’ IP: Scots family embroiled in Narnia Internet dispute (pdf)

A Scottish family have become embroiled in an intellectual property dispute with the estate of the author C.S. Lewis after buying a Narnia Internet domain name for their 10-year-old son as a birthday present.

Richard and Gillian Saville-Smith, who live in Edinburgh, paid 70 pounds ($140) to purchase the domain name Narnia.mobi from the internet registration company Fasthosts in 2006 so their son could have it as an email address.

They were asked to return the domain name to the C.S. Lewis company, owner of the author’s estate, but refused. The family then received a 128-page legal complaint filed with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Switzerland.

Sadly, the article even includes famous last words in these sorts of disputes:

“If the WIPO decides in favor of the C.S. Lewis estate, that would be the end of it for us. However, I don’t expect they will, because their case is flimsy and we’ve done nothing wrong.”

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