Efax.Com vs Mark Oglesby
Prior to 1998 the Claimant, an American company which was formerly known as Jetfax Inc until it changed its name to efax.com in February 1999, carried on business as a supplier of computer hardware. In February 1998 the company launched a new service on the internet converting fax to e-mail messages. This was a free service and involved the subscribers, who logged on at www.efax.com, being allocated a US telephone number for use as their fax number. Faxes sent to that number would be automatically converted into digital form and forwarded to the subscriber’s e-mail address. In November 1999 the Claimant relaunched its efax service in the UK using UK telephone numbers.
Since January 1998 the Defendant’s business had offered services which included a fax to e-mail service similar to that offered by the claimant. In February 1998 the Defendant had acquired and registered the name efax.co.uk on the internet. The service was not made available to the general public, however, until August 1999 when the service became automated and available on the internet. The Defendant charged for the service.
In February 1999 the Claimant’s European operations manager had discovered that the name efax.co.uk was already taken up. He therefore contacted the Defendant on a number of occasions and offered to purchase the domain name; these offers were refused. In November 1999 an action was commenced for passing off. The Claimant applied for interim injunctive relief restraining the Defendant from passing off his services as and for those of the Claimant by the use of the name “efax”. The Defendant cross-applied for the claim to be struck out on the grounds that it was bound to fail or, in the alternative, for summary judgment in his favour.
The Claimant contended that it had established a substantial reputation and goodwill in the UK, based on the fact it had approximately 17,000 UK subscribers of whom 5,000 had used the service. Further the Claimant argued that the word “efax” was a good trade mark as it carried connotations of fax and the internet but yet it was not part of the English language.
The Defendant argued that the name “efax” was descriptive of the service offered and therefore the Claimant had no real prospect of establishing an exclusive goodwill in the mark. In addition the Defendant claimed that the Claimant had not built up a reputation in that mark in the UK by November 1999 and, that the risk of confusion was likely to be very small given the different names of the businesses and the fact that one service was free.
efax.com vs efax.co.uk
Efax.com has got a big struggle on its hands to win control of the efax.co.uk domain name, following its failure to secure an injunction against a small British company. In court, efax.com argued before Mr. Justice Jonathan Parker that that the name efax.co.uk was confusingly similar to its own name. This is cybersquatting with a twist: efax.com, a US company offering fax-to-email conversion services has been trading under this name since February 1999, while efax, a UK company owned by businessman Mark Oglesby offering inter alia fax-to-email conversion services, has been trading under its name since 1997. Mr. Justice Jonathan Parker disagreed with efax.com, finding "considerable force" in Oglesby's submission that the word efax was highly descriptive of the services being provided: "e" being the universal prefix for Internet services and there being universal familiarity with the word "fax" as a shorthand for facsimile. It was likely that efax would be taken to be a fax over the Internet service. The ruling effectively scuppers efax.com's chances of bulldozing the .co.uk address away from a triumphant Oglesby. He says he never had any intention of passing himself off as efax.com -- a bit unnecessary that, considering he's been trading a year longer than the US interloper. Now he urges settlement -- shorthand for Efax.com for scrapping further legal action and, we assume, stumping up a lot of cash for the domain. Efax.com is in a bit of a pickle: in Britain, it signed up only 17,000 subscribers, 12,000 of which are dormant accounts, it revealed in court. As of February 7, efax.com claims 50,000 subscribers, a representative said. The company had launched the legal action prior to launching an advertising campaign in Britain. It said today that it has not put any media campaign on ice.
Mark Oglesby moved
FIVE years ago Clare Oglesby lived in a four-bedroom detached house. So far so normal. Today she is chatelaine of a 40-bedroom royal estate that was once home to the present Queen’s aunt.
But behind this amazing leap up the property ladder lies a fascinating tale of two women, two family generations removed and a world apart in terms of upbringing and life-style. Yet they are united by a love for one house.
Home today for Clare Oglesby is 400-year-old Goldsborough Hall. She shares it with husband Mark, 40, their daughter Charlotte, four, and Lucy, 14, Mark’s daughter from a previous relationship.
The hard-working couple have ploughed their savings and lives into renovating the once-dilapidated estate in North Yorkshire, restoring it to its glory days where it was a home fit to receive kings and queens.
Just over 80 years ago the lady of the house was Princess Mary, a great- granddaughter of Queen Victoria. She shared the house with husband Henry, Viscount Lascelles, and their two sons George and Gerald.
Mary and Henry were given the 80-room house after they wed in 1922 in a lavish royal ceremony. It was their first family home and the Princess created much of the gardens which exist today. But there any similarities end.
Mark had spotted the hall for sale in 2003 and suggested they take a look at it with a view to moving his telecom business there. Despite their falling in love with the property, which was still in good condition, their offer was rejected and they heard nothing more until two years later when they were contacted by the estate agents to say: “Put your best offer in – it’s between you and a developer.”