Two ISPs settle name clash

Two of the country's leading ISPs have amicably settled a clash which saw one register the other's trademark as an Internet domain. Icon last month registered vipnet.co.nz for use with a flat-rate virtual private network service it is developing over Telecom IPNet. Meanwhile Ihug is gearing up to launch a business service called ... VIPNet.

Two of the country's leading ISPs have amicably settled a clash which saw one register the other's trademark as an Internet domain.

The Internet Company of New Zealand (Iconz) last month registered vipnet.co.nz for use with a flat-rate virtual private network service it is developing over Telecom IPNet.

Then last week, Iconz general manager Hugh McMcKellar opened the paper to see a large recruitment ad for the new business service being launched by Internet Group (Ihug) - under the name VIPNet. Phone calls ensued. McKellar says the company will now probably not use the domain.

"We have a reasonably friendly relationship with Ihug and no great desire to trash it over a domain name," he says. "It's probably fair to say that they were there first."

McKellar does admit to being surprised that Ihug, which has been touting the VIPNet name for several months, had not registered a corresponding domain.

Ihug director Nick Wood says the company has registered VIPNet as a trademark "and we hadn't really planned on having a domain name because most of the customers have their own and everything else is done under Ihug - so it's just a brand, really."

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