Talk about being dumb on the smallest of things: Fox Business Network has lost its battle for the domain name, because it did not register its trade marks early enough. Of course it owns, so not a huge loss in the scheme of things.

FBN announced its intention to launch on 8 February 2007, and the same day Worldwide Directory Services (WDS) registered the domain name But because Fox News did not register any trade marks for the term ‘Fox Business Network’ until 16th July that year it was not entitled to force the handover of the address, the World Intellectual Property Organisation decided.

Fox argued that the registration of the name was designed to create a likelihood of confusion from which WDS would benefit. It also said that WDS had contacted it and offered to sell the domain for $50,000. WDS said it had been publishing web pages using the term ‘fox business network’ since 2002, and that the ‘fox’ in question referred to its president’s nickname, which it said was ‘the British fox’. More here.

The full ruling from WIPO is here.