back to article WIPO punts Cambridge University over attempt to grab Cambridge.com

The University of Cambridge has lost an attempt to win control of the domain Cambridge.com from its owners. Kirkland Holdings LLC of Brookline Massachusetts purchased Cambridge.com for US$85,000 in 2010 and uses it to run a site called “Everything Cambridge” that offers tourist information for both the US and English cities of …

  1. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: Land grabbing

      "For all commercial purposes cambridge.com should be owned by Cambridge, Mass., and cambridge.co.uk should be owned by the City of Cambridge."

      Skirting over the fact that the real Cambridge is in the UK, so clearly the most deserving of the .com domain, isn't this going to get a bit tricky when more than one company or entity have the same name? Surely Apple.com should be owned by the first company to be called Apple, which certainly isn't Apple Computers.

      I think it's difficult to find a rule that works here, I'm afraid. Hence the mess we have at the moment.

      1. Dan Paul

        Re: Land grabbing by Cambridge University

        What part of .edu or .org do you not comprehend?

        They are the domains that are reserved for educational or charitable organizations!

        Dot Com is for COMMERCIAL entities. A College or University is NOT a commercial entity.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Land grabbing by Cambridge University

          What part of .edu or .org do you not comprehend?

          I think you mean .ac.uk as in cam.ac.uk

          They might have wanted that domain for their Cambridge Enterprise operation, which is to do with commercialising research and creating spin-off companies. http://www.enterprise.cam.ac.uk/

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Land grabbing by Cambridge University

          "Dot Com is for COMMERCIAL entities. A College or University is NOT a commercial entity."

          This is part of the Russell's group, so some people may argue about that point.

        3. x 7

          Re: Land grabbing by Cambridge University

          "A College or University is NOT a commercial entity."

          British ones are....very much so

        4. Gazman

          Re: Land grabbing by Cambridge University

          @Dan Paul

          "... A College or University is NOT a commercial entity."

          As somebody in the sector all I can say is, "My goodness, where have you been hiding for the last thirty years".

    2. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: Land grabbing

      Why should one random Cambridge in the US get the "commercial" domain - why should the UK cambridge have a company domain?

      Surely there is a .co.us for the larger Cambridge in the US (although again - why is it considered a company), and maybe there should be a reversion to type for domains - there is no reason that everything has to be a ".com", not everything is commercial.

      maybe cambridge.council.uk

      1. Mark #255
        Coat

        Re: Land grabbing

        [...]a .co.us for the larger Cambridge in the US[...]

        But Cambridge is in Massachusetts, not Colorado.

        1. John Robson Silver badge

          Re: Land grabbing

          Meh - There'll be a cambridge there as well - co.ms.us - or whatever the mass 2nd level domain is.

          com isn't appropriate for a huge number of the domains therein.

          1. werdsmith Silver badge

            Re: Land grabbing

            When if the gTLDs catch on, none of this will matter much.

            The .com may eventually become like cherished car numbers, but stuff like this belongs in the historical geeky beginnings of DNS. Eventually it will surely be fixed so the names are more normal.

      2. Jagged

        Re: Land grabbing

        "maybe cambridge.council.uk?"

        No. There are defined domains for this stuff. If I want Cambridge council I go to "cambridge.gov.uk". If I want the university I change the domain to "ac.uk". Dot.Com rightly belongs to company.

        1. Martin-73 Silver badge

          Re: Land grabbing

          While I agree with your point that it rightly belongs to a company, the fact it's one of those scummy 'this isn't what I was bloody looking for, goddamnit' companies leaves a bad taste in my mouth. My hatred for them is extreme, hijacking searches somehow. UGH

  2. AndyS

    Surely the name of a city can't be seen as a trademark by anyone? OK, the Uni uses that name too - but it's not like the city is named after the Uni. It seems a bit bizarre that the Uni thought they could win this.

    As an aside, has The Reg's proof-reader gone on strike? The first few paragraphs here are a bit... rough.

    1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      it's not like the city is named after the Uni

      True. But the university is what the city's famous for. Without it, Cambridge might be just as famous as, say, St Neots.

    2. Vincent Ballard
      Coat

      The name CAMBRIDGE is registered as a UK trademark in different categories by a variety of companies. In addition to the university, there's a food company, a water board, Yamaha, a stationery company, a towel company, a furniture company, and an air conditioning company. Of those, the university would be the one with the best claim to the domain: it has the trademark for Cambridge in the contexts of "electronic publications, downloadable" and "publication of directories". But, of course, the .com domain isn't subservient to UK trademarks.

    3. Yes Me Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Common sense needed

      > Surely the name of a city can't be seen as a trademark by anyone?

      Lawyers can see anything as anything else, given enough $$$. But in any case, the history of etoy.ch is quite interesting. Since the Swiss registry had the common sense to pre-reserve the name of every Swiss commune, an outfit called eToy, not to be confused with eToys, couldn't get etoy.ch. A little common sense up front can save a lot of lawyer $$$ later.

      And anyway, what about Cambridge NZ?

  3. graeme leggett

    owners activities

    Was the owner of Cambridge.com offering degree level education, the opportunity to take a doctorate or to publish educational books?

    If not, hardly likely to be confused with an actual university site.

  4. Victor Ludorum

    Yes, but...

    Oxford University have oxford.edu, but cambridge.edu is some college in California. Surely they would have tried to go for that as well?

    1. Chris King Silver badge

      Re: Yes, but...

      The rules for .edu eligibility have changed over the years. Oxford got a .edu because they had an office in the States, that loophole was closed a few years ago but EDUCAUSE "grandfathered in" old registrations regardless of current eligibility.

      It's the same with .AC.UK, some domain names won't fly under the current rules (especially "generic" names) but usually remain valid until surrendered.

  5. Primus Secundus Tertius

    Compromise

    How about a compromise? Offer the domain to the Gloucestershire village of Cambridge (near the river Severn).

    1. Spoobistle

      Re: Compromise

      You're forgetting Cambridge, New Zealand. I don't think there's any university there either.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well they can't have lightblue.com either ...

    ... because I bagged it in 1994 !

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well they can't have lightblue.com either ...

      Not sure of the value of posting that anonymously when your details are listed in WhoIs...

  7. Steve 129

    Reminds me of Chase

    This story reminds me of a story many years ago. Chase Bank 'stole' chase.com from an engineering company in the UK that had been using it for years.

    The original company was not passing off as Chase bank, and in fact was definitely using it for their own engineering business.

    Still, Chase bank gained control, but at least they offered to pay for Chase Engineering to re-do their letter head !!! How valiant of them.

    To this day I still refuse to do any business with Chase Bank because of this. I was/am disgusted with their behavior and bullying tactics.

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