Fake Squire Patton Boggs website given court approval in bizarre decision

Avatar photo

By Alex Aldridge on

A training contract at squirepattonboggs.net may differ somewhat to scheme at squirepattonboggs.com

Screenshot taken from squirepattonboggs.net

Chinese copyright chiefs have given the thumbs up to squirepattonboggs.net — a website that seems to be a blatant attempt to rip off the well known international law firm Squire Patton Boggs (which itself resides at squirepattonboggs.com).

In a bizarre decision handed down by the Asian Domain Name Dispute Resolution Center (ADNDRC), a panel of one managed to overlook the fact that Qinhuangdao Hongshun, the Chinese company which owns squirepattonboggs.net, has got nothing to do with Squire Patton Boggs, and backed its use of the domain.

Legal Cheek understands that Chinese copyright law isn’t big on common sense, and ruled in favour of Qinhuangdao Hongshun because it registered squirepattonboggs.net before Squire Patton Boggs filed its own trademark application in China.

A clue to Qinhuangdao Hongshun’s possible intentions lies in documents filed to the ADNDRC by Squire Patton Boggs, which state that it had asked the top law firm for $450,000 (£333,000) in exchange for the transfer of squirepattonboggs.net.

Happily, Qinhuangdao Hongshun’s win seems set to be temporary. Squire Patton Boggs has released this statement on the matter:

The ADNDRC decision simply pushes the resolution of the domain dispute to a later time when the currently pending trademark invalidation proceedings will be concluded.

Readers fluent in Mandarin can read the decision on the ADNDRC’s website.

For all the latest commercial awareness info, and advance notification of Legal Cheek’s careers events, sign up to the Legal Cheek Hub.