The property industry and indeed the internet as a whole is rife with websites that are set up to emulate someone else’s successful online business. The ruse is that they hope to steal orders from the successful site when consumers inadvertently stumble across them by mistake.
Letting Agent Today reveals that one particular ‘copy cat’ site has been shut down this week by Nominet, the domain authority.
Student Property Shop is a well established portal, owned by Mr Chris Johnston, that lists student accommodation in university towns across the UK. However Tariq Zaman, void of his own ideas and clearly adverse to the fundamental of hard work, decided to plagiarise the original website with his own, similar sounding online offering, THE Student Property Shop.
Nominet’s Dispute Resolution Service assessed the case after a complaint was brought to it and judged that the latter site was an ‘abusive registration’ and it therefore passed the ownership of ‘The Student Property Shop’s’ domain name to Mr Johnston, effectively shutting down Mr Zaman’s website.
Mr Johnston now has further recourse through the civil courts on the basis of ‘Passing Off’ which would further restrict Mr Zaman’s attempts to steal customers and could substantially compensate the original, rightful business owner.