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Airbus sues over domain ownership
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Airbus, the leading aircraft manufacturer, has applied for arbitration in a domain-name dispute against a Beijing individual in Hong Kong.

Cai Qilin registered ownership of the domain name airbus.cn last April. But at the end of last year, he received a complaint letter via the Hong Kong International Arbitration Center.

In the complaint, Airbus SAS said it and its related companies had registered a number of "airbus"-related trademarks in countries and regions around the world, including some domain names.

The aircraft manufacturer said Cai had registered the domain name with questionable intent because the domain name refers visitors to a Website selling discounted air tickets.

This could mislead people into thinking the Website is related to Airbus and harm the company's reputation, the company said.

Airbus has asked for the domain name airbus.cn to be transferred to it. Cai's lawyer argued that Airbus does not own a trademark on the term "airbus" in China.

Although the company had registered domain names such as airbus.com.cn and airbus.org.cn after it entered the Chinese market, it had neglected the domain name airbus.cn for a long time and it now had malicious reasons for wanting to own it.

Cai's lawyer said "airbus" is a noun used generically by people to refer to large aircraft and did not necessarily refer to specifically to the aircraft manufacturer.

The result of the arbitration has not yet been announced.

(Shanghai Daily February 29, 2008)

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