- The United Nations WIPO rules in our favour against Hammerson Plc owners of the Highcross Leicester
- Our battle was for what was rightfully ours... Our victory was for the 'little guy' everywhere...
- Consider why you see "Highcross" above the door and not "Highcross Quarter" ...
- Our Highcross Leicester Naming Controversy and Dispute Website now in development
- Our Highcross Leicester domain name dispute Press Releases and Statements
- Leicester Digital Media creators and IT Consultants... Webwordwizards say: "Thanks for all the support that rallied to our side".
The United Nations WIPO rules in our favour against Hammerson Plc owners of the Highcross Leicester
On the 30th August 2007 the United Nations World Intellectual Property Organisation in Geneva ruled in our favour in a legal battle we were dragged into by Hammerson Plc owners of the Highcross Leicester for the HIGHCROSSQUARTER.COM domain name.
This ruling delivered a shattering blow to Hammerson Plc who having had their offers to buy the name from us for their £350 Million Highcross development declined then resorted to legal action to seize the name by force on the basis that our ownership of the internet name trespassed on their trade mark and intellectual property rights.
Hammerson Plc did not alas have the exclusive rights to the name that they thought they enjoyed as unknown to them they had spent a year exhaustively trade marking (and alas naming a £350 million pound shopping centre) "Highcross Quarter". A name that as High Cross Quarter ... lo and behold... had an established generic meaning in Wicca as the highpoints on the wiccan calendar. Clearly, Hammerson simply did not do their homework!
Of this fact they were blithely unaware until when I delicately intimated their predicament to them when they approached us for the names in July 2006.
However, having enlightened Hammerson Plc to this certainly unexpected and rather unfortunate dimension to their name selection for Leicester's flagship regeneration centre piece, they still never the less remained in full headlong pursuit of both the all important top level highcrossquarter.com and the less important lower level highcrossquarter.co.uk internet domain names which we owned.
Our battle was for what was rightfully ours... Our victory was for the 'little guy' everywhere...
Whilst fighting this legal battle we were mindful of the grim statistics for defending UN WIPO Domain dispute cases.
In 2006 the previous year to our own battle, only 13.98%, 187 of a total of 1151 cases worldwide were successfully defended.
Many cases were lost, often by 'little guys'... small businesses such as ours, trying to defend what they got to first fair and square against huge corporations and their slick and polished legal teams and brigades of over paid barristers.
So, not only did we want to win this battle for the feisty but endearing Mrs Wisecraft our client and the other charming ladies of the Wiccan group for whom Webwordwizards fought and acted unrepresented, but also for all the 'little guys'... other small businesses who were dragged into such battles, overwhelmed and then lost often facing large legal bills and costs brought on by inconvenience to their business.
At the time of our Goliath slaying victory in Geneva it gave me great satisfaction to dedicate our victory to the 'Little Guy', those small businesses, local groups and sole traders who sadly lose their domain name battles each year... the Little Guys who were not able to prevail as we did against large corporations who far too often in intellectual property disputes always 'have it all their own way'.
Consider why you see "Highcross" above the door and not "Highcross Quarter" ...
Now in Aug 2008, with that battle now some twelve months behind us and with the Highcross Quarter shopping centre renamed to Highcross and about to open on the 4th September, I would like to invite people who visit that leicester development to spare a moments thought in the inevitable marketing hype induced retail excitement that there will surely be.
Please think of the fact that a small business, Webwordwizards.com based right here in England had to battle to retain something we got to first fair and square on behalf of our own clients and to defend the right of that leicestershire based client to use that domain name and term High Cross Quarter in relation to their alternative Wicca faith and traditions.
Please take a moment to ponder upon this point, especially when you look up and see the name "Highcross" and not "Highcross Quarter" above the doors of that development, that you are seeing that name because Hammerson Plc and Nabarro got their pinstriped corporate backsides soundly kicked when a small Leicester business stood up to them and their adventurism and won.
Leics Techs - Webwordwizards.com.
Highcross Leicester Naming Controversy and Dispute
Website now in development
Worldwide interest has continued in Leicester's Highcross Leicester \ Highcross Quarter name legal dispute in which we successfully battled £7.4 Billion FTSE 100 giant Hammerson Plc and Shires (GP) Ltd.
Our highcross-leicester.com website being produced by us to explain and show what the Highcross Leicester is and how the Leicester £350 million highcross brought our clients and us to worldwide attention in what is undoubtedly the highest profile internet name dispute of all time.
Plans for a website dedicated to the Highcross Leicester - Highcross Quarter naming controversy and legal battle were formed by us as early as July 2007.
As, at the height our fight to defend our ownership of the Highcrossquarter.com name on behalf of clients, misreporting in much of the worlds media became apparent to us which we realised would need addressing at a later date once the dust had settled.
Also, it was felt that certain myths, spin and explanations that arose from a certain quarter... (but as things turned out... alas not a Highcross Quarter :o) ) ought have some analysis.
See Highcross name battle website.
Press Releases and Statements
Click image below for our original press release. (Adobe PDF - 285KB)
Press Release Sept 7th 2007 - Our domain name dispute victory against Hammerson Plc, Shires (GP) Ltd and their brigade of barristers Nabarro at the United Nations WIPO in Geneva
Central London 0207 993 8141
Thank you all for your support
Throughout this battle we were astonished by the sheer level of support that rallied to our side.
Even to this day we have not be able to read all the emails and messages of goodwill, over 41,000 in all, that flooded in during the legal battle and even after the UN WIPO handed down their ruling against Hammerson Plc on 30th August 2007.
Whilst we had many messages from around the world a significant number came from Leicester and the surrounding area. So we would particularly like to say 'Thank you' to the people of Leicester for your support and goodwill and the way that as one in your thousands you rallied to our side.
It is quite true to say that fighting this case was the toughest and most challenging task I had ever faced and that without all the messages of support that were so encouraging as we prepared and defended our case we feel the outcome may have been quite different.
I would also like the thank the many clients of ours many of whom we were in the process of completing website design or IT projects for relaxing delivery schedules that allowed us to focus for three months purely on defending this case.
Nuneaton Sealed Units & Integral Blinds
Newlook Windows & Conservatories - Leicester
St Peters Neighbourhood Management Board - Leicester
Technology & Web Wizards
Leics Techs - Webwordwizards.com