Big domain fights in South Africa

There have been many fights over domain names in recent years, which included,,,, and

By - March 21, 2016 Share on LinkedIn

A quality domain name is valuable for any brand on the Internet, which is why companies are willing to spend millions to purchase a URL which they think will enhance their business.

Many South African domain names have sold for over R1 million, including,,, and

To benefit from this, some people register domain names which are closely linked to company names.

This often leads to disputes, where the domain owner and the company fight for ownership of the domain name.

This process is handled by the South African Institute of Intellectual Property Law (SAIIPL), which is accredited as a dispute resolution provider in terms of the .za Alternate Dispute Resolution Regulations.

The domain dispute process was introduced in South Africa on 1 April 2007, and SAIIPL has been accredited as a dispute resolution service provider by the Department of Communications.

The dispute procedure entitles a party to lodge a complaint against a domain if it “takes unfair advantage of the rights” of that party or “is contrary to law or likely to give offence to any class of persons”.

Here are some of the prominent domain name disputes which were handled by SAIIPL in recent years. – Solidarity versus North-West University

North-West University recently filed a complaint against Solidarity, the owner of the domain. The SAIIPL ruled that Solidarity may no longer use the name.

NWU – Pick n Pay Retailers vs BP Raisethorpe Service Station

Pick n Pay Retailers filed a complaint against BP Raisethorpe Service Station, the owner of the domain. The ruling is pending.

PicknPay – Pirelli vs Rauties Tyres

Pirelli filed a complaint against Rauties Tyres, the owner of the domain name The domain was transferred to Pirelli.

Pirelli – Tumblr vs Zhu Xumei

Tumblr filed a complaint against Zhu Xumei, the owner of the domain name The ruling is pending.

Tumblr – Supersport vs Avaliani Sergi

Supersport filed a complaint against Avaliani Sergi, the owner of the domain name The ruling is pending.

SuperSport World of Champions logo – Symantec vs Dijon Venter

Symantec filed a complaint against Dijon Venter, the owner of the domain name The domain name was transferred to Symantec.

Thawte – South African Airways vs Deon Venter

South African Airways filed a complaint against Deon Venter, the owner of The domain was transferred to South African Airways.

SAA – Pepkor vs Pep Application Software

Pepkor filed a complaint against Pep Application Software, the owner of The complaint was dismissed.

Pep – Hardrock Café vs S Lennon

Hardrock Café filed a complaint against S Lennon, the owner of The domain was transferred to Hardrock Café.

Hardrock Cafe – South African Revenue Service vs Antonie Goosen

The South African Revenue Service filed a complaint against Antonie Goosen, the owner of The domain was transferred to the South African Revenue Service.


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