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ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC: OFFSPRING OF AN OFF-THE-SHELF COMPANY OF DUBIOUS ANTECEDENCE

By Alfred Donovan

As a result of proceedings Shell International brought against me in May 2005 via The World Intellectual Property Organization, we carried out a financial investigation of the setting up of Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

We discovered from Companies House documents that the company is the offspring of an off-the-shelf company – FORTHDEAL LIMITED – a company of dubious antecedence.

In 2005, Shell management was so grossly incompetent that it forgot to obtain registration of the royaldutchshellplc top level domain name as part of the process of setting up the unified company: Royal Dutch Shell plc.

Trading under a new name was meant to distance the new company from the stigma of the reserves scandal.

What an unpleasant surprise for Shell when it found out that not only had someone beaten them to the dotcom domain name registration for its new company, but that the person who had done so was its oldest adversary, in age and years of hostility.

Richard Wiseman (now retired) must have felt some discomfort if, as he later boasted, he was the “conductor of the legal orchestra”, which set up the new company, apparently in too much of a rush to avoid humiliating blunders.

The initial directors of the company under the new name – Royal Dutch Shell Plc, were ALL Dutch Nationals. No Brits. The accounts were shown as being “Overdue”. In the “Last Accounts made Up To” section it stated (NONE AVAILABLE). The Annual Return and Current Appointments Report amounted to 11 pages. Under “Nature of Business it was stated “Non-trading company.”

From an image standpoint, this was surely an unedifying corporate platform for the new grandiose unified company: Royal Dutch Shell plc – a global business worth $200 billion plus.

The domain name blunder and dubious history of the original company made it all seem more reminiscent of a “Trotters Independent Traders” venture organized by Del boy and Rodney, the incompetent cockney con-artists whose hilarious antics featured in the classic BBC TV comedy series, “Only Fools & Horses”.

Shell also blundered in wasting time and money in trying to seize the domain name, as it lost the case.

DOMAIN NAME PROCEEDINGS BY SHELL INTERNATIONAL

(Some of the docs are almost 50 pages so take some time to load)

WIPO Notification to Alfred Donovan of Shell proceedings: 25 May 2005

Shell Complaint Document: 18 May 2005 (46 Pages)

Wall Street Journal Article: 2 June 2005

Donovan Response Document: 14 June 2005 (Includes Shell financial docs and postings from “Tell Shell”

Transition of FORTHDEAL LIMITED to Royal Dutch Shell Plc: Shell financial transition docs obtained from Companies House 31 May 2005

WIPO Notification of Decision: 11 August 2005

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