Nintendo denied Wii U domain in cybersquatting case

The World Intellectual Property Organisation has ruled in favour of current domain holder; website first registered in 2004.

Nintendo has lost a claim with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), following an attempt to take ownership of the WiiU.com domain name, according to a report by Fusible.

The current WiiU.com website. (Credit: CBS Interactive)

The case, which was filed by Nintendo of America in February this year, sought to turn over the privately held WiiU.com domain, which was originally registered in 2004; seven years before the announcement of the company's current game system in April 2011.

The verdict, which was handed down over the weekend, found in favour of the original website holder. While no information was provided on Nintendo’s options or intentions to appeal the decision, the company may yet elect to attempt to purchase the domain from its current owner in a private sale.

In May this year, Microsoft began proceedings with the National Arbitration Forum to claim ownership of the XboxOne.com and XboxOne.net domains, following the announcement of its upcoming next-generation home console. The two domains were originally registered in December 2011 and are currently held by a London resident.

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Discussion

389 comments
Dudeman315
Dudeman315

Which this would, if Corporations had to follow the same rules as regular people, but I guess they are only people when it benefits them. 

91210user
91210user

The current owner of the website must be well happy!

ziqi92
ziqi92

make it nintendowiiu.com.

problem solved.

Gargus
Gargus

They shouldnt have to give it up, they paid for it.

You cant simply say "This domain is mine now". You have to register for it and pay a fee. It belongs to whoever registers it and keeps it.

Its no different than buying a house and not living in it and then selling it when the property in the area goes up in value. Buying a collectible pistol and not shooting it to sell later.

Like activision when they won a court battle for a domain name someone owned. That isn't right.

Is domain squatting a little shady? Perhaps it is but its still the simple fact you have to register for it and stake a claim to it. If Nintendo or activision wanted those sites so badly they should have already owned them or paid the owner what they wanted for it.

stealth-logic
stealth-logic

People. This isn't a case of some guy that happened to get lucky with a domain he picked up years ago. Nintendo is not picking on the little guy. The site is owned by a corporation called Namemedia Inc. They buy tons of domains, and squat on them for profit. Domain squatting is a problem because a company like this can do nothing but register domains, make money from selling them, buy more and more domains, and eventually after years of this, you'll have no choice but to go through a cyber squatter to get a domain, because they'll have taken everything usable. More than likely, Nintendo could afford to pay them if they wanted, but they decided they'd rather pay lawyers to argue that we shouldn't have to, and I for one, agree with them.

soulfulDAGGER
soulfulDAGGER

Nintendo should have had some people on the bid when it was up for auction. Anyway, who cares about domain names?! There's a billion yet to be created, just takes some imagination and foresight. Domain "squatters" are in a sense, business people. I doubt Nintendo will buy it now, nor anyone.

inebriantia
inebriantia

Most of these people buy domains purely to exploit companies. They squat on dozen if not hundreds of domain addresses in hopes of one of these companies creating a console with that name. Nintendo and Xbox probably did try buying it first and they wanted way too much for it, maybe they didn't who knows.

People who think the guys that own these sites though are really some geeky nerd who actually loves the company is wrong. They want to make as much money as they possibly can. The site listed above literally just has crap on it, to have it on there, the site is awful, it's just there to protect himself from Nintendo taking it.

ScouseMelon
ScouseMelon

I'll sell you the domain Nintendo for

'ONE BILLION DOLLARS'  mwaaahahahaha.

malokevi
malokevi

The holder of that domain name is about the receive a sizable contribution to their bank roll, courtesy of Mario himself.

Fursnake
Fursnake

Just add an extra "i" in there Nintendo...as if it matters with such a silly name.

Fursnake
Fursnake

Cybersquatting...that sounds like something nasty one could see on YouTube.

zenstrata
zenstrata

Big companies these days love to throw their weight around.  They practically never care about the individual, they only care if customers continue to line their pockets.  And if an individual happens to be in their way, they are most likely to try bulldozing right through that individual rather than try to work with them.

TirOrah
TirOrah

Wow, maybe they shouldn't have sued the guy first... I mean, I doubt he likes them much now after that and might be inclined to say 'screw you Nintendo' and ask too much. Of course I have no idea how this person even thinks, so I could be completely off. But people are being so drastic and unfriendly nowadays! I can still remember the situatgion with that writer who said the ideas of the Assassin's Creed franchise (the Animus, memory traveling etc) were stolen from his book. 

OldKye
OldKye

Why do they always sue first (>_<) why not ask to buy it first?  It's probably just some guy who liked the Wii and started a fan site I doubt he'll ask for something that will break the bank.

What's he want a couple copy's of super smash bros? come on Nintendo.... Microsoft is one thing but I expect better from you.

Reuwsaat
Reuwsaat

"may yet elect to attempt to purchase the domain from its current owner in a private sale." Why didn't they do that in the first place? Just because you have a big company you think you can run over the small ones, because "This is Nintendo"? "I'm 1,93m tall, I take a crap and name it after you, so I'll sue you and take over your name because I'm taller than you." Nintendo could easily afford whatever price they threw on them, so why go bully to a point of suing someone? This was trash, Nintendo.

antiAntag0nist
antiAntag0nist

It's official people, time travel exists!

It's the only reason I can think of how this guy registered the domain so long ago.

msfan1289
msfan1289

if i was that guy ill ask for 50 million dollars out the door, if not no sale, and keep the domain

junglist101
junglist101

The guy owns the site.  Things are only worth what someone will pay.  Nintendo should pay the man whatever the site is worth to them and next time make sure they have a domain name to match their console.

telaros
telaros

Pfft. You pay for a domain name people, and THEN you can build a website. You don't NEED to ever make a website, simply continuing to pay for YOUR domain name is all that matters.


It isn't a new thing. People tend to make these and sit on them for awhile or used to have a webpage and simply took it down, but still kept the domain name.

Nintendo and MS will just have to pay this guy millions if they want it. Stuff they'd get back anyways with ad revenues. Eventually lol

farcorners
farcorners

yes, they had the name 9 years ago, but they don't have a website.

RevolverAce
RevolverAce

I think the owner would love to give them the domain, for a fair price :)

SIDEFX1
SIDEFX1

Nintendo should have it. 

DiscGuru101
DiscGuru101

Whatever happened to Nintendo renaming it something better anyway? Almost anything would've been better than the Wii U..

RaddaRaddaRadda
RaddaRaddaRadda

Fuck cybersquatters. If you're not developing a website with the domain name, and someone else has an established company or product that uses the name, you should have to sell it. Arbitrate a fair price and transfer ownership.

So now that random fuck off can sit on that domain name and rack up bucks every time someone tries to type it in. He's essentially getting Nintendo royalties for doing absolutely fucking nothing.

LindBergh2007
LindBergh2007

@soulfulDAGGER  Alot of the people here are missing the elephant in the room. wiiu.com was a domain name registered in 2000. It was known as "Woman's International Islamic United.com".


So Nintendo has no say. They lose because they chose such an awful name for their console.

Overlord93
Overlord93

@soulfulDAGGER 

Domain names are very important. A lot of people just type things into the adresss bar rather than searching, if your company's domain isn't obvious and easily guessable then you can lose a lot of traffic and people can take a lot of money away from your company.

LindBergh2007
LindBergh2007

@Fursnake It's not cypersquatting in this case at all. The domain has been around then net for 12 years. Years before even the Wii was developed.

LindBergh2007
LindBergh2007

@TirOrah  The domain name isn't Nintendo's and has existed since 2001. Your post is hyperbole.

samanoskay
samanoskay

@OldKye  to be honest he could easily ask for millions its a prime .com address thats why most people buy these domains, to try and charge people for them later, just look at call of dutys one the guy bought it and it was just a redirect to bf3 site lol

deadkingdg
deadkingdg

@telaros Exactly. And it's not like they rushed to create that site in the hopes of banking Nintendo. 

KumaTenshi29
KumaTenshi29

@SIDEFX1 Gee, should Nintendo have whatever they want just because they demand it? How about they come take your house just because they demand it? The guy OWNS the domain name. He literally OWNS it.

jareed
jareed

@RaddaRaddaRadda I agree.  Deliberately doing something in anticipation of dicking someone else is a scumbag thing to do.  This dude probably owns every other possible name that Nintendo had even hinted at using for its next gen as well.  Nintendo needs to find something else that works as a domain name and give this guy absolutely nothing.

msfan1289
msfan1289

@RaddaRaddaRadda i think you need to get off the internet. he owns the domain fair and square FOR 9 YEARS, the respect that needs to be given here is Nintendo to the person owning the Domain, Nintendo have no right for doing this. and you have no right to be on here to spread stupid to the world.

famekiller
famekiller

@RaddaRaddaRaddaI agree radda(x3)   I think there should be a law stating you must have a functional website linked to your domain with 2 years of registration. Too many people secure names and never use then, when legit companies do want to use them.

jcknapier711
jcknapier711

@RaddaRaddaRadda The opposite could also happen.  You might make a website named radda.com and then the next Xbox comes out and they call it the Xbox Radda and then take your domain.  It can work both ways.  Obviously, it's unlikely MS would name their next Xbox that, but there is no shortage to other things to name a website after.

DiscGuru101
DiscGuru101

@RaddaRaddaRadda - Nintendo is barely making money off the Wii U. It's unlikely that this person is getting much out of owning the domain name.

KumaTenshi29
KumaTenshi29

@soulfulDAGGER Then companies should have the foresight to check domain names before settling on a name for a product. Not just try and bully someone because they lacked fore thought and now want something. 

Hell, might as well just teach kids when they're 4 years old "Oh, you want that toy because he's got it? By all means, go punch him in the mouth and take it! That's a good boy!"

TirOrah
TirOrah

@LindBergh2007 Please explain what you mean. I'm not even sure what you mean with the term 'hyperbole', sorry. And I don't recall saying the domain was Nintendo's. All I said was Nintendo seemed to jump on the sue 'm all bandwagon pretty quickly instead of solving the situation peacefully. 

Feel free to correct me in a way that I understand, because to be honest your reply makes no sense to me whatsoever.

OldKye
OldKye

@samanoskay Still they should kinda expect it either have the funds available to buy it or make a different one they could pick "CatWii.com" and it would still be listed as the first site on Google cause it's the real Nintendo one.

BlackSquare
BlackSquare

@famekiller@RaddaRaddaRaddaI think we are all arguing past each other. Let me explain:

Situation A) Person first registers domain name. Few months after company registers a trademark like the domain name.

Situation B) Company registers trademark. Few months later person registers domain name.

The WiiU.com situation is Situation A. No law is broken. Situation B is copyright infringement or so they argue.

However, there is a situation in which Situation B can legal.


Situation C) Company registers trademark. Few months later person registers domain name. However, person has a company registered under that domain name. IE: Nissan.com (Nissan Computers). Therefore the person is registering because of their company which actively has to be in use in a unrelated field. So Nissan Computers using Nissan.com is fine. You just can't be in the car business and have Nissan.com for a car related business.

RaddaRaddaRadda
RaddaRaddaRadda

@jcknapier711 The difference is whether or not the domain is actually being used. If there is no website being developed there, then there's no reason you need the domain name. If I had Radda.com and I had a fully developed website, then MS wouldn't have a case.

But if I'd just bought Radda.com and left it there and did nothing with it, then yeah, I should be forced to give it up if someone else had a company or product associated with that name. Especially since people will go to Radda.com expecting that product and could mistakenly associate that domain with the product.

RaddaRaddaRadda
RaddaRaddaRadda

@DiscGuru101 But money is being made. Simply because he owns the domain name. People go to that domain looking for the WiiU and that guy gets money.

If you had a big name product and someone else was making money off your name, wouldn't you be a little pissed?

RaddaRaddaRadda
RaddaRaddaRadda

@Thanatos2k @RaddaRaddaRadda The definition of cybersquatting is buying a domain name in anticipation that someone will one day want it. If it's a name they know people will want, they will demand exorbitant amounts of money in exchange for it.

Maybe look up the definition before assuming you know what it is.

KratosHump3R
KratosHump3R

@Thanatos2k @RaddaRaddaRadda  

out of respect he should do the RIGHT thing and take his domain down out of respect o Nintendo so he gets doesn't take advantage of the situation now right?

thorn3000
thorn3000

@Thanatos2k @RaddaRaddaRadda the xboxone though is obviously either from a leak of the name OR guy just bought up whole lot of domains how Microsoft might name its new console

KumaTenshi29
KumaTenshi29

@famekiller What the fuck does it matter to you? Does it personally affect YOU? Are you in some way inconvenienced by it? Do you get pissy driving by some house that's had a car sitting in front of it for four years, that's perfectly useable but they clearly never do anything with it?  

famekiller
famekiller

@BlackSquare I don't have a problem with people registering any domain name for their personal use. First in, first served. My issue is when they register them and then never intend on using them.That's what i don't agree with.

KumaTenshi29
KumaTenshi29

@famekiller That's seriously all you have, is personal insults and absolutely nothing to come back with, no counter arguments to anything but "Durrr, maybe if you said something intelligent in the first place"

"Would you like it if some company came along and demanded you change your house, your car, your clothes, anything you own?"

You can't even answer simple questions, probably because you realize your answer would be detrimental to your already weak argument. 

Fact of the matter is, THEY pay for it, it's THEIRS, they can do what they want with it. 

Pull up the big boy pants and get over it. 

famekiller
famekiller

@KumaTenshi29 that's rich, coming from someone who had nothing intelligent to contribute to the conversation to begin with.

KumaTenshi29
KumaTenshi29

@famekiller Awwww, now who's being a petulant child >.> 

You have absolutely no counter arguments to anything I've said, all you do is hurl personal insults to mask your in ability to counter anything put towards you. 

Don't talk about maturity when you have none.

famekiller
famekiller

@KumaTenshi29  does mummy let you swear like that at home?  Like i said, come back when you mature.

KumaTenshi29
KumaTenshi29

@famekiller You're white knighting for companies. Don't like having it pointed out, don't fucking do it. 

People can register whatever the fuck domain name they want, THEY'RE paying for it, it's THEIRS. They can do, or not do, whatever the hell they want with it. 

Would you like it if some company came along and demanded you change your house, your car, your clothes, anything you own? Probably not. 

 So you want to talk about being mature, try having a bit of maturity yourself. Just because a company decides they want something that is owned by someone else, doesn't mean they should just get what they want. 

Also, that's funny with the age remark, considering your avatar on here >.>

famekiller
famekiller

@KumaTenshi29 Oh look, another internet tool with nothing intelligent to say. Now there's a 1st.! Perhaps we need to make a law that persons under the age of 13 can't use the internet. Come back when you mature.

KumaTenshi29
KumaTenshi29

@RaddaRaddaRadda So you'd be okay with paying for something, that you end up not using, and then just giving it away and having that money you put into keeping the domain name wasted? 

The guy is not making money off people going to his domain >.> How the hell do you figure that is happening?

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@RaddaRaddaRadda @Thanatos2k How the hell did he know Nintendo or anyone would want the site "wiiu.com"?

Who was he squatting for?  Explain, please.  What is being done with the site right now has nothing to do with their intentions when they originally registered it.