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Nintendo loses battle over WiiU domain

Platform holder denied satisfaction as site remains ad-serving holding page

Nintendo has lost a legal challenge to the owners of WiiU.com which will see the URL remain under the control of its current owners. The site currently hosts a number of ads and a 'bespoke' search which suggests several Nintendo-related terms.

Nintendo filed a cybersquatting case against the current owners in February, causing them to withdraw the URL's listing from an auction. However, a judgement was passed last week which ruled against Nintendo, leaving it in a problematic, and potentially highly costly, situation. Should the company have taken the bitter pill and chosen to buy what it thought rightfully belonged to it anyway?

As Fusible reports, it's not the first time it's happened to the publisher.

In 2006, Nintendo was forced to pay for the release of Wii.com, although a non-disclosure agreement prevented that total from becoming public. The other major platform holders are also experiencing similar travails: Microsoft is also currently embroiled in a squatting case, chasing the owners of XboxOne.com and Xbox1.com, whilst Sony has yet to take any action against the holders of PlayStation4.com.

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Latest comments (13)

James Prendergast Research Chemist 3 years ago
Wouldn't it just be cheaper to pay Google/MS/[enter preffered search engine here] to place the correct pages at the top of search results for those terms? I mean, they currently do this with paid "suggestions" anyway and I can imagine it might be cheaper than a 4-6 figure payment for the domain. If they want something snappy for linkage they can just point people to the main domain (e.g. Nintendo.com) and have a good feeder page there for their product lines.
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Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd3 years ago
How could the squatters possibly win these cases? In what warped frame of mind does the judge think this is OK?
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Steven Hodgson Programmer, Code in Progress Ltd3 years ago
How could the squatters possibly win these cases? In what warped frame of mind does the judge think this is OK?
probably a judge who thinks turning off a monitor turns off a computer
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Show all comments (13)
Mbuso Radebe Associate Producer, Smoking Gun Interactive Inc.3 years ago
According to Polygon the domain has been registered since 2004, well before it was public knowledge that Nintendo would use the name Wii for its consoles...so it's not entirely baseless.

http://www.polygon.com/2013/6/30/4479728/nintendos-claim-for-wiiu-com-domain-name-denied
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Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game3 years ago
So why don't they register domains before revealing console names? Ok, this domain may have been registered, but let's face it, WiiU was not such an amazing name that it couldn't have been changed.
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Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd3 years ago
@Mbuso it's never been used which is the definition of domain squatting.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 3 years ago
Most judges and politicians of certain ages in this country are incompetent when it comes to understanding technology. I still get a brain burn when I recall a politician here called the Internet "a series of tubes" and some other judges had to have explained how email works during a court case (i think they didn't realize that it's sent quickly and there's no wait time like with a letter or something)...
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Mbuso Radebe Associate Producer, Smoking Gun Interactive Inc.3 years ago
@Nicholas I agree with you. I was only pointing out that Nintendo had options before it got to this point.
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Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd3 years ago
@ Greg Sadly government and courts are run by lawyers, not actually engineers, programmers, economists, biologists, and physicists who understand how the world works.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Nicholas Pantazis on 2nd July 2013 12:40am

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Paul Johnson Managing Director / Lead code monkey, Rubicon Development3 years ago
Hmmm, I'm sure this won't be popular but I'm with the courts on this one.

If this guy made a fan page for Wii and called it WiiU, before Nintendo expressed that trademark, then he's fully entitled to it in my book. The fact that some giant corporation came along with the same name and /demanded/ to get the domain is frankly pathetic. The internet is for everyone, not just big business.

If this had gone the wrong way, you'd better hope and prey that a megacorp in the future doesn't create a medical device called a VGChart, or maybe invent a new TV featuring a zoe mode. Ok, that's a stretch, but so is a bloody WiiU. What the hell is that anyway? I understand it means something in Japan, but this story played out in the usa.
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Luis E Alvarado Studying Mobile Development B.S., Full Sail University3 years ago
Unfortunately, it is just a poor use of English words for the Japanese as well. The point of the name relied on the previous platform and the supposed enhanced experiences with the new one.
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Murray Lorden Game Designer & Developer, MUZBOZ3 years ago
I find it all rather amusing. Thinking of these behemoth companies trying to wrestle their brand names back of people who beat them to the punch. Seems somehow ... poorly planned.
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Adam Campbell Producer, Hopster3 years ago
Its tricky, because they may have the rights to a domain name, but we also have trademarked product using the name too. This is domain vs trademark really.
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