Proving that sometimes, an apparent David can beat a multi-national Goliath, Nintendo has lost a court case over the WiiU.com domain. The website, first registered back in 2004, is currently displaying a placeholder.
Back in February of this year, Nintendo filed a case with the World Intellectual Property Organization in an attempt to gain control of the domain – one that is seemingly linked to its latest console.
Even though the Panel found the domain name to be “identical or confusingly similar” to Nintendo trademarks, WiiU.com was registered seven years before the new hardware was announced and named (two years before the original Wii was named), meaning the original holder had no idea of Nintendo‘s plans. The respondent explains the domain was registered “in order to establish a website for a “We Invest in You” business venture” that never got off the ground.
The Japanese hardware giant has not announced any further domain-related plans – and it is unclear whether it has the right of reply at the WIPO. A potential outcome sees Nintendo offering the current owner a (significant) pile of cash for the rights to the website.