Brand & Cybersquatting : The Victoria's Secret' case
On Monday June 11th, 2018

Brand & Cybersquatting : The Victoria's Secret' case

As shown many times in previous our articles on cybersquatting, it is quite common that brands find themselves confronted with people wishing to exploit their domain name notoriety. If in 99% of cases, the bad faith of the registrant was shown, sometimes he can also be righful. 


It is up to you to judge this case


The case below relates a conflict between the owner of a beauty salon and the world-famous American underwear firm, Victoria Secret.

Maria Rosana opened her beauty salon "Victoria secret beauty" in the Victoria Street (London). To develop its presence through the web, she registered the domain name very similar the firm's one Recently, the company noticed it and asked Maria to restore the domain name. A request to which Mrs Rosana has fiercely opposed, saying that she never heard about Victoria's secret company.

Nominet's position

Few times later, the .uk registry Nominet became involved in the situation. From its point of view, it is impossible that she did not know a brand with a such notoriety. They also denounce the brand's name exploitation, leading a big commercial advantage for the salon. the similarity between the logos was also criticized, as it could mislead even more customers.


For her defense, miss Rosana explained explains that as her beauty salon is located in the Victoria Street and moreover in a Victorian house, using " Victoria" for her salon's name was completely logical. For the "secret", she explains that it came from the lack of visibility of her shop, before she moved to another place.


The verdict


Although it seems almost impossible that the woman has never heard of this world-famous brand, in her case the name "victoria secret beauty" does not seem completely illegitimate regarding her salon location. The 50-year-old woman said "I’m a little fish and they’re the shark worth billions but I’m biting back. I chose the name because it made sense for the area. It was in Victoria Street, in Victoria and in a Victorian house on the first floor".

In the current state of things, the shop's owner was imposed by Nominet to restore the domain name after refusing the $ 2,500 proposed by the Victoria"s secret group to change its domain name.

In this case, there is two potential errors: On the one hand, the underwear company did not ensure its naming strategy by neglecting the registration of various versions of its main domain name despite its notoriety. On the other hand, this woman did not check properly before choosing her shop's name and it is even more surprising that the WIPO did not inform her of the company's existence. This article demonstrates once again the importance of domain names for businesses. 

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Victor JULIA


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