Brewery sues to get

Lion Breweries at odds with New Zealand farmer

Feb 3, 2000 - Lion Breweries of New Zealand is suing a local farmer in an effort to obtain the use of for its Internet website.


The Lion, which brews Steinlager beer, is filing an action with the Swiss-based World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) to claim back the Steinlager domain name.

Wallace Waugh registered the site more than two years ago. He and his son use the name for an electronics business. He said one client in the United States took $400,000 worth of exports a year.

"We actually needed that [site] for a job and we got it. A considerable time later [Lion] rang up and said they wanted it," Waugh said. "They tried to bully us into it. I said, 'no.' We had spent $20,000 on developing our website on it and they offered me beer."

WIPO issued its first domain name decision last month. In that case it found in favor of the World Wrestling Federation's bid to claim its name back from a "cybersquatter."

Graham Seatter, Lion corporate affairs director, said the company was willing to compensate Waugh for any costs in establishing and maintaining the domain site, but no more.

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