The World Intellectual Property Organization ordered the rights to www.jrrtolkien.com handed over to the company that holds the rights to the British author's works.

InformationWeek Staff, Contributor

January 13, 2004

1 Min Read

GENEVA (AP) -- The estate of "Lord of the Rings" author J.R.R. Tolkien has won the rights to the use of the domain name www.jrrtolkien.com in a United Nations ruling.

The World Intellectual Property Organization ordered the name handed over to the company that holds the rights to the British author's works and that claimed it had trademark rights in the name.

The Web address had been registered by the company Alberta Hot Rods of High Prairie, Canada, and linked to a commercial Web site, Celebrity1000. Arbitrator Alistair Payne ruled that Alberta Hot Rods had no legitimate rights or interests in the name.

J.R.R. Tolkien died in 1973, but his books are more popular than ever, boosted by the recent blockbuster three-film adaptation of "Lord of the Rings," the chronicle of an alliance of humans, wizards, elves, dwarves, and hobbits aiming to destroy a ring of ultimate power and stop an evil lord from enslaving the mythical land of Middle Earth.

The U.N. arbitration system, which started in 1999, allows those who think they have the right to a domain to get it back without having to fight a costly legal battle or pay large sums of money.

A number of celebrities have already won the Internet version of their names back from Alberta Hot Rods or the man who controls it, Jeff Burgar. They include writer Michael Crichton, actress Pamela Anderson, and recording artists Celine Dion and Bruce Springsteen.

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