Jay Leno wins cybersquatting case

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GENEVA (Reuters) - Comedian and talk show host Jay Leno has won a cybersquatting case against a Texas man found by a U.N. agency to have misused the domain name to direct Internet users to a real estate website.

In a ruling issued on Thursday, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) said Leno had common law trademark rights to his name after a 30-year career in entertainment, even though Guadalupe Zambrano registered the site in 2004.

Furthermore, real estate agent Zambrano did not have any legitimate rights to the disputed web address and had registered it in “bad faith,” according to the ruling by William Towns, an independent arbitrator appointed by the Geneva-based agency.

Towns ordered the domain name transferred within 10 days to Leno, who will be hosting a new comedy show on NBC in September after a 17-year run at “The Tonight Show” which ended last May.

The new prime-time talk show will be called “The Jay Leno Show” from September 14, according to an NBC announcement last week.

Oprah Winfrey, Larry King and Martha Stewart are among other television hosts who have filed domain name cases under WIPO’s fast-track arbitration and mediation center.

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay, editing by Paul Casciato