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British Telecommunications Plc v One in a Million Ltd

[1999] 1 W.L.R. 903

Case summary last updated at 02/02/2020 20:26 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case British Telecommunications Plc v One in a Million Ltd

D were dealers in Internet domain names; had deliberately registered domain names consisting of names of trademarks of well-known businesses without those business’s consent. C, one company whose name had been registered by D in numerous forms, sued D for passing off. Held:
 
·        Is passing off where D is equipped with, or intends to equip another with, an instrument of fraud.
·        Whether a name is instrument of fraud is matter to be determined by all the circumstances; including:
Ø  Similarity of names
Ø  Intention of D
·        On facts, names were instruments of fraud.
Ø  i.e. D intended to extract money from C by express or implied threat that D or someone else could make use of its name.
·        Therefore was passing off and threatened passing off.

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