Harvard sues for its name

December 24, 1999

Harvard University is going to court under the recently enacted cyber-piracy law in the United States to prove internet rights to website addresses that contain its name.

The university is suing to gain control of names that contain the name "Harvard" held by Michael Rhys and his company Web-Pro.

Mr Rhys had bought 65 domain names involving Harvard and Radcliffe and offered to sell them back to the university for about $325,000 before trying to sell them in an online auction, according to the Boston Globe.

Harvard says it is suing to defend its trademark and is using the cyber-squatting bill to back up its claim. The bill allows trademark holders to seek damages from anyone who registers a name that infringes on a trademark and then tries to sell it back to the trademark holder.

Harvard says it does not want money from Mr Rhys, but simply wants him to stop demanding cash for names that it considers it already has moral rights over.

The cyber-squatting bill, made law on November 29, was heavily backed by businesses and celebrities, which often have had to pay large sums to gain the rights to website addresses that bear their names.

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