A world motoring giant has put the skids under a Chorley village car parts seller.
The Ford Motor Company complained about Abbey Village-based Newford Parts Centre’s website.
Now Newford has been forced to hand over the 13-year-old website – newfordparts.co.uk – following the trans-Atlantic tussle.
Ford said Newford had unfairly included its name, trading off its fame, history and reputation to boost its own business.
An expert at the Nominet internet domain name dispute resolution service has ordered that the village business hand over its web name to the car
Independent expert Carl Gardner said it was “reasonable” to infer that even Newford’s business name had been designed to incorporate the word ‘Ford’.
He said visitors to the site could be caused initial confusion, thinking that it was actually linked to Ford and not a completely different business.
“In my view, it is not fair for the respondent (Newford) to use the domain name in this way,” Mr Gardner said in his decision.
“The domain name newfordparts.co.uk is not, in my view, fairly descriptive of a business selling both obsolete Ford parts in the strict sense, and pattern parts for use in vintage Ford cars.
“The inference that Newford’s business name is itself designed to incorporate Ford’s name slightly influences my feeling that the way Newford presents its business using the domain name is not completely fair.
“Newford appears, in the circumstances, to have used the domain name in a manner which has taken unfair advantage of, or has been unfairly detrimental to, Ford’s rights.
“I find that Ford has rights in a name which is similar to the domain name and that
the domain name, in the hands of Newford, is an abusive
“The complaint is upheld. I direct that the domain name be transferred to Ford.”
Nick Horridge, 52, owner of Newford Parts Centre, which has been trading since 1974, said: “They are just waving a big stick. I take no business from them whatsoever.
“I specialise in the obsolete side of Fords from the 1940s to the mid-80s and early 90s.”
He claimed Ford in the US and Ford dealerships in this country even direct customers needing the types of parts he sells to his business.
“How can I be taking business off them if they sell what I don’t sell. I’m not even using their main logo on the website. It seems one hand doesn’t know what the other is doing.”
He said he would not be taking the website down. “I’m just leaving it,” he said. “If they want me to remove that website they will have to do it themselves, because I’m not doing it. I think it is absolutely ridiculous.”