GENEVA — Some companies ya just don't mess with in a Web domain name.
Like Disney. Or Lego.
The maker of building blocks and tiny multipiece toys for children has won a case against two website domains offering Lego porn.
The World Intellectual Property Organization has ruled in favor of Denmark-based Lego Juris AS against FreeLegoPorn.com and LegoPornXXX, charged with trademark infringement (not to mention besmirching the Lego name, but that's another story).
Domain News reports both sites created or shared porn featuring Lego toys. That's actually not unusual: A quick Google search will bring up plenty of Lego porn on the Internet, from photos of the toy figures to videos. And Lego can't stop all of that.
But using Lego in a porn website name? Those sites should’ve seen it coming.
According to the documents from the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center, Lego has trademarks in more than 190 countries and is also the owner of some 450 domain names containing the term Lego. The Lego trademark goes back to 1953, and sales in just the U.S. have exceeded $1 billion over the last 10 years. Lego became about more than little building blocks some years back, teaming up with major film studio licensing partners to create products for such franchises as Star Wars, Batman and Indiana Jones.
The disputed porn domain names were registered by the same company through GoDaddy.com in October 2008 and both domains linked to the same toy porn site.
The respondent in the case, represented by P N S Enterprises, attempted to defend the site names, saying they don't use the word Lego, but the word Legoporn.
“Lego is a Latin word defined as ‘to study or build.’ Lego is the building of comedic stop-action animation pornography with dolls and the like,” an e-mail to the WIPO argued. “At no point did we even allude that we represented the Lego Corporation. We have no interest in selling their products and we never used the Lego mark.”
The e-mail went on to point out the thousands of results that pop up on searches for Legoporn or Lego Porn and also noted that its Lego porn website content is comedic, “like a South Park, Family Guy or Simpsons TV show.”
The WIPO didn’t buy any of that and ordered the two domain names transferred to Lego Juris AS.
“The content available on the site consisted of animated mini-figures doing very explicit things. We were not amused,” said Lego attorney Peter Kjaer, according to PC World.
The mediation ruling was in compliance with the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy, a procedure established by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers in dealing with domain-name brand abuse and disputes.
As PC World notes, despite efforts to stop it, such cybersquatting continues as newly registered domain names play on the names of established company brands — including slight misspellings that drive traffic to sites by exploiting small mistakes made by Web surfers when typing a name in a search engine.
Many phishing sites, seeking to gain user info and personal details, operate in that manner and are far more dangerous than a cheeky website offering porn parodies of iconic toys.