The World Intelectual Property Organisation (WIPO) decided Mike Kolart, a Dutch entrepreneur, has to release his domains Facebook.nl and Facebook.be to the social network giant Facebook.
According to WIPO both domains were registered with the purpose to attract traffic from Facebook.com, and served the registrar to no legitimate purpose. Kolart claimed he had registered both domains in July 2005, while the domain Facebook.com was only purchased in Augustus 2005. Further investigations showed Kolart only registered his .be and .nl Facebook domains in 2007.
At this moment, both domains still point to Kolart's discussion forums, but within ten days, they will point to the official Facebook site.
Kolart does not agree with WIPO's verdict and claims financial losses. Originally Facebook had him offered 10,000 Euro for the Dutch and Belgian domains. The only thing Kolart is now left with, is a hefty bill from his lawyers.
Recently, also the Spanish facebook.es and Australian Facebook.com.au had to be turned over to the One and Only facebook.com. (Source - in Dutch)
[Ed: what do you think? A David and Goliath story, or just another opportunist trying to piggy back on a well known Internet domain?]
Cartoon courtesy Geek and Poke