30 May 2013

Ford puts the brakes on part centre's website

Michigan-headquartered automotive giant Ford has forced a British village parts centre to hand over its website domain following a trans-Atlantic internet tussle.

By James Barnes

Ford: Detroit muscle hits the web

The Lancashire Evening Post reports that Ford complained over Abbey Village-based Newford Parts Centre’s 13-year-old website and Newford has now been made to hand over the domain by the Nominet internet domain name dispute resolution service.


Ford contended that Newford used its name to boost its business. Experts agreed that it was ‘reasonable’ to infer the parts centre had deliberately including the word ‘Ford’ to enhance its reputation.
Independent expert Carl Gardner added that visitors to the site could be caused initial confusion, thinking that it was actually linked to Ford.
Mr Gardner said: ‘The domain name newfordparts.co.uk is not, in my view, fairly descriptive of a business selling both obsolete Ford parts in the strict sense, and pattern parts for use in vintage Ford cars.
‘Newford appears, in the circumstances, to have used the domain name in a manner which has taken unfair advantage of, or has been unfairly detrimental to, Ford’s rights.’

Big stick

Nick Horridge, 52, owner of Newford Parts Centre, said that he was not taking any business from Ford and they ‘are just waving a big stick’.
‘I specialise in the obsolete side of Fords from the 1940s to the mid-80s and early 90s,’ said Mr Horridge. ‘How can I be taking business off them if they sell what I don’t sell.’

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