Trademark WAP names for sale, says NZ man

A local man who has registered WAP-related domain names including the trademarks of leading New Zealand companies says the names are for sale to all comers.

A local man who has registered WAP-related domain names including the trademarks of leading New Zealand companies says the names are for sale to all comers.

James Kidd, an Xtra customer, recently registered 19 .nz names containing the letters "WAP", joining the current rush to stake out names that might be useful for services using the mobile Wireless Application Protocol.

Some of the names, such as wapflight.co.nz and wapadvertising.co.nz, are generic. But Kidd has also registered wapairnz.co.nz, wapasb.co.nz, wapfletcher.co.nz, wapsaturn.co.nz, waptelstra.co.nz, wapvodaphone.co.nz and wapwestpactrust.co.nz.

When contacted by IDGNet, Kidd said the domain names "are available for sale to anyone who wishes to make me an offer."

He added, "You will be aware that within the next twelve months, unit sales of WAP enabled mobile-phones is tipped to outsell computer hardware in the USA by five to one

None of the companies contacted yesterday were aware their trademarks had been used in the names and only one, Telstra, could summon an immediate response to Kidd's offer.

"If we required the name then we'd talk to him," said Telstra's Quentin Bright. "Then we'd take the next step if we had to, and follow the standard procedure and take legal action to get it back in the same way has happened in other cases."

Vodafone spokesman Mark Champion said he "wouldn't have thought" his company would be interested in paying for the name. "I don't quite know what the use of it would be."

Air New Zealand and the ASB did not come back with responses yesterday and Westpac Trust declined to comment.

Kidd is likely to find that he is on the wrong side of legal precedent in trying to sell the non-generic names. Courts everywhere have consistently found against so-called cybersquatters.

That doesn't appear to deter would-be name speculators from trying. Another man, Harold Brenton Millar, has registered wapericsson.co.nz, wapmotorola.co.nz and wapnokia.co.nz.

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