END.

Putting an END to domain name infringement

END. was established in Newcastle upon Tyne in 2005. It started life as a shop, selling contemporary menswear brands such as Comme de Garcons, Folk and Stone Island. Today, END. is recognised at number 47 of the Sunday Times BDO Profit Track 100 league table, which is compiled to rank Britain’s private companies with the fastest growing profits over the last three years.

Case Study

Case Type

Trade mark infringement

Action

Domain name dispute

Outcome

Infringing site and accounts closed

Ian Byworth

By Ian Byworth

Partner

Issue:

The potential for internet sales was spotted early on by founders John Parker and Christiaan Ashworth and as a result, END. has become a pioneer in the global sale of contemporary niche menswear online, with a turnover of more than £100 million and flagship retail sites in Soho London, Glasgow and Newcastle.

END. engaged us in 2013 to obtain a portfolio of trade mark protection around the world. In early 2018, a website (endclothingco.com) appeared, selling menswear. The operator also started advertising on Instagram and Twitter. The business behind the website appeared to be based in the United States.

Action:

END. had secured a US trade mark registration early on, but the costs of trade mark litigation in the United States can be high. We therefore decided to attempt to have the infringing website taken down, using the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) offered by ICANN, which resolves disputes relating to ‘.com’ domain names. A UDRP complaint was filed and END. took action using the IP dispute policies of Twitter and Instagram.

Outcome:

END. won the UDRP dispute and took ownership of the conflicting domain. Yet, as a result of the pressure applied, the operator of the website agreed to take down ‘endclothingco.com’ and cease the use of any END. trade marks for retailing menswear before the decision was even announced.

END. was successful in having the infringing Twitter account closed and the website owner agreed to close the Instagram account as well. UDRP was therefore used as a low-cost alternative to trade mark infringement proceedings in the United States to effectively protect END.’s brand.

Need help with trade mark infringement?

For more information, please contact Ian Byworth at ijb@udl.co.uk.

0191 261 8573

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