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Shell loses domain .com dispute Shell loses domain .com dispute

Someone asked me: How could they loose this? The first two should obviously belong to Shell. Why did they loose the case?

9 Sept 2005

Forum: Domain Disputes



WIPO case Shell

Someone asked me: How could they loose this? The first two should obviously belong to Shell. Why did they loose the case?

The main reason for the respondent winning the dispute is that:

– it can’t be proven that the current owner registered the domains with bad intentions and is using the domain with conflicting business interests with Shell.

– the names aren’t registered marks only company names.

UDRP is as easy as that!


Actually, it is not “as easy as that!”

The panel found in Shell’s favour that the domain names are identical or confusingly similar to Shell’s trademarks. That was the first part of a three part test. To win the case Shell had to succeed in all three tests. The others being that my father, Alfred Donovan, has no legitimate interest in the domain names which were in dispute and registered them in bad faith. The panel unanimous decided that my father has a legitimate interest in the names and did not register them in bad faith.

I am not a lawyer but the verdict seems to rest on the fact that my father runs a non-commercial website on which he exercises his right to freedom of speech – in this case to criticise Shell – and has never attempted to sell the domain names to Shell or anyone else.

It is a humiliating and embarrassing blow to Shell that my father now has unchallenged rights to the domain names which happen to include the precise dotcom name of their new $200 BILLION merged company: ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC.

Shell management knew before anyone else the name of the planned new company but neglected to obtain registration of the corresponding dotcom domain name: a blunder of epic proportions but entirely in keeping with an incompetent dishonest management responsible for the reserves scandal, when Shell lost a third of its previously claimed hydrocarbon reserves. It has been paying fines and making out-of-court settlements ever since – at a cost of a quarter of a billion dollars thus far to its shareholders and climbing.

This website and sisters,,,, and, are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia segment.

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