Lawsuit Filed Over

Rhett Pardon

LONDON — Michael Ross, the London-based real estate exec who fought Playboy Enterprises International at arbitration over the domain name and lost, now has filed suit against the adult entertainment brand.

Ross, the director of London-based realty firm CNM Estates, acquired the gTLD domain name for £34.99 in April and officially received it in October.

Later, Playboy lawyers shot off a demand letter, claiming that Ross registered in bad faith and his purported use of the domain infringed of its trademark.

Playboy lawyers, promising legal actions if he didn’t hand over the domain to the iconic brand, filed a claim and last month an arbitrator sided with the adult company, ordering the domain transferred.

Ross, however, was not satisfied with the outcome of the arbitration ruling and has filed a lawsuit at the Chancery division of the High Court of Justice against Playboy.

Ross, at the WIPO hearing, submitted to arbitrators that he had every right to use the domain, despite that the site now is parked.

He said that his legitimate interest falls into two grounds, being that he plans to use the domain name for a site documenting his child's adolescence, limiting access to the site to family and friends, and that he is a "playboy" and hence commonly known by the domain name.

Yesterday, Playboy spokesman Ray Yeung said in a statement: “The WIPO arbitration ruling conclusively determined that was registered in bad faith. Playboy will continue active enforcement to protect its valuable brand and associated intellectual property.”