The Walt Disney Company is flexing its muscles, forcing an English fancy dress store to surrender its Star Wars website addresses.
The Berkshire, UK based Jokers’ Masquerade store, which has owned the domain names for more than ten years, uses the web address to attract shoppers to its Star Wars-themed costume section.
Last year Nominet the organization which controls domain names in Great Britain, under pressure from Disney, has now ruled the store must give up the domains.
Abscissa, Jokers’ Masquerade parent company, has also received order to hand over a further six domain names it also uses – star-wars.uk , starwars.uk , starwarsco.uk , star-warsco.co.uk , star-wars.co.uk , starwarsco.co.uk
The company has until July 21st to decide whether to appeal.
Abscissa’s chief executive Mark Lewis said it was ironic that for ten years Disney had not been interested in the domain names.
“If the new Star Wars films by Disney were not being released, we wouldn’t be having this discussion,” he said.
“That’s how we feel. Are we disappointed? Yes. Are we surprised? Not necessarily.”
Lucasfilm which had owned and had the rights to Star Wars sold them in 2012 to the Walt Disney Company in 2012 for $4.1 billion.
A Disney spokesman claimed with the purchase the company also acquired all Star Wars intellectual property.
Disney has previously used Nominet to take control of waltdisney.co.uk and disneycruises.co.uk .