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Danish flower grower misses out on Queen domain

Danish grower Knud Jepsen uses the Queen brand name, but doesn't have the accompanying .com website. This one is owned by a Canadian company. The latter uses the domain name to link to an adult website. Through the World Intellectual Property Organization, Jepsen tried to get hold of the domain name, unsuccessfully.

Danish grower Knud Jepsen has been using the Queen brand name for years. In Denmark, his website is Queen.DK, and he's registered the brand in several countries. He also uses the brand name Kalanchoe Queen. He just didn't have the .com extension. That's been the property of a domain name trading company for twenty years now. The website is only used to link through to pornographic websites.

Knud Jepsen wanted to know the cost of taking over the website. He had a choice of either paying 15,000 USD a month, or 2 million in total. "Are you kidding me?" was his reaction - but it wasn't a joke. The grower decided to take it up with the World Intellectual Property Organization and thus get his hands on the website. He believes he has a right to the website, and not just that, he also says the content on the site harms his reputation. He also argued this was a case of cybersquatting: using a known name and benefiting from that.

The WIPO dismissed his case, however. He only got the Queen trademark in 2015, while the website has been in existence since 1999. The company had no idea the Danish flower grower even existed, they say. And the Queen name is a generic one. There's no cybersquatting going on either. Or, at least, there may be, but there's no evidence for this because the company doesn't do it consistently, which is an essential part of cybersquatting.

Read the full verdict here.

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