A couple who bought a web domain name as a birthday present for their 11-year-old son have lost a battle with the estate of C.S. Lewis to keep it. Richard and Gillian Saville-Smith, from Edinburgh, paid £70 for the name www.narnia.mobi in September 2006 so that their son Comrie, who is a fan of C.S. Lewis, could use it as an e-mail address. The author's estate lodged a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organisation, which ruled yesterday that the domain name should be transferred.
Companies had a three-month period in 2006 to express interest in .mobi website names before they became more widely available. The couple bought the Narnia name, along with a number of others, including The Queen.mobi and USPresident.mobi, “just for fun”.
Domain name disputes focus partly on whether a “cybersquatter” is using the site for commercial gain and whether trademarks are involved. Mr Saville-Smith claimed yesterday that he had done nothing at all with the site and had not tried to make any money from it.