WIPO to hear competing claims for 'barcelona.info'


A joint investigation by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers and Afilias has proved that 25% of domain names registered during the '.info' sunrise period were based on faulty or fraudulent trademarks. One such case may include the domain name 'barcelona.info', which a young Spanish boy registered in August during the sunrise period.

The Council of the City of Barcelona has filed a claim with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) alleging fraudulent use of the trademark BARCELONA by the boy.

Strangely, before the council had a chance to file its claim, a computer programmer acting on behalf of a company initiated Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy proceedings dealing with the same domain name. The computer specialist's claim is based on a trademark registered by the company which includes the word 'Barcelona'. The company, however, has denied any connection to the computer programmer or the dispute.

This first claim must be resolved before the WIPO panellists can decide on the council's claim. The 'battle of Barcelona' is bound to be a long, drawn-out affair.

Enric Enrich, Enrich, Amat, & Vidal-Quadras Advocats, Barcelona

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