Will The Real Nissandotcom Please Stand Up

By Julian Matthews, Malaysian correspondent, Newsbytes
03 Aug 2000, 7:59 PM CST

Using one’s own name for a dotcom may sound logical, but what if you just happen to share the name with a major corporation or celebrity? Well, be prepared to shell out the legal tab to protect it. Ask Mr Uzi Nissan, he should know.

An Israeli-American born in Jerusalem, Nissan registered the domain name nissan.com in May 1994. The site was to expand his Raleigh, North Carolina-based computer business called the Nissan Computer Corporation (NCC) started in 1991.

Nissan first got wind that the Japanese auto-maker Nissan Motor Co Ltd was upset with him when their senior legal counsel sent him a letter expressing “concerns” in July 1995. “I chose not to respond because I believed it was clear we were a computer company and that there was no conflict,” he explains on his Web site ncchelp.org.

That same month in 1995, however, just to be safe, Nissan registered a trademark for Nissan Computer and a logo in the State of North Carolina. In March 1996, Nissan also registered the domain name nissan.net to expand into Internet dial-up services as well.

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