South East Wales

Penarth boating firm wins web dispute with ex-director

Cardiff Bay Image copyright Matt Rosser/Geograph
Image caption Cardiff Bay Leisure Ltd offers sea and coastal trips from Cardiff Bay

An ex-director of a Cardiff Bay boat firm must hand back one of the company's internet addresses, web watchdogs have ruled.

Ryan Hopkins, from Cardiff, retained control of after he left Cardiff Bay Leisure Ltd in 2011.

The firm claimed his continued use of the domain infringed its rights.

An online dispute body has ruled Mr Hopkins's control of the site is "abusive" and told him to given it up.

'Company property'

Internet adjudicator, Nominet, resolved the tug of war in a judgment published on Monday.

Nominet expert Matthew Harris said Mr Hopkins registered the digital real estate while working for Cardiff Bay Leisure, which offers sea and coastal trips, in March, 2009.

The company insisted Mr Hopkins reneged on a promise to "return all company property and equipment" as part of his severance deal in 2011.

But Mr Hopkins claimed he was "the legal owner" of the domain.

'Abusive registration'

He said he had bought it to "use in any company that he was working with at the time".

The Nominet expert said, however, he had "little difficulty" in preferring Cardiff Bay Leisure's claim to the web address.

He said the company, which is based in Penarth Quays Marina, Vale of Glamorgan, had "some form of legal rights in the term" the domain contained.

"In the circumstances," he concluded, "Cardiff Bay Leisure Ltd has shown that the domain, in the hands of Mr Hopkins, is an abusive registration."

The expert ordered that the web domain be transferred to the firm.

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