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INTA Bulletin


July 15, 2000 Vol. 55 No. 13 Back to Bulletin Main Page

WIPO Returns Julia Roberts' Runaway Domain Name


Julia Fiona Roberts, Hollywood's highest-paid actress, recently won control of a website that bears her name, www.juliaroberts.com, after filing a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization on March 25, 2000.

WIPO ruled that the domain name registrant and accused cybersquatter, Russell Boyd, of Princeton, New Jersey, had no legitimate interest in the domain name and used it in bad faith. He was ordered to transfer the domain name to Ms. Roberts within 45 days.

WIPO noted that Mr. Boyd had also registered more than 50 domain names, including ones incorporating the names of several famous sports figures and movie stars, like madelinestowe.com, alpacino.com and elenaprodanova.com. In addition, Mr. Boyd also tried selling the domain name on eBay (he was offered US $2,550).

In reaction to Ms. Roberts' filing the complaint, Mr. Boyd indicated that if Ms. Roberts "had picked up a phone and said, 'Hi Russ, can we talk about the domain name juliaroberts.com?' She would own it by now."

Although Mr. Boyd initially maintained that he thought Ms. Roberts was "nifty crazy wacko cool," his post-decision comments suggest sour grapes: "Julia the multimillionaire and her team of lawyers have struck a powerful blow against the common man and his mistaken belief in free speech."

Sources: "Julia Roberts Wins Control Of Domain Name on Web," The Wall Street Journal, June 1, 2000; Yahoo! News, Entertainment Headlines, June 2, 2000; Yahoo! News, Entertainment Headlines, June 1, 2000; WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center, Case No. D2000-0210 Julia Fiona Roberts v. Russell Boyd


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