Tuesday, June 30, 1998 Published at 16:35 GMT 17:35 UK
Appeal against Internet ban
The appeal against the injunctions is expected to take two days
A scheme to make money by registering famous names from the world of commerce on the Internet was not fraudulent, the Court of Appeal has heard.
Richard Conway and Julian Nicholson set up "domain names", which included the titles of large companies such as Marks & Spencer and Virgin.
The court was told the plan may have been reprehensible, irritating and frivolous but that was not a trade mark infringement.
Alistair Wilson QC, representing the pair, said the two men "spotted the opportunity to make money out of domain names and they took it".
Mr Wilson told the court: "The idea was to register domain names similar to the names of well-known companies and then try to sell them to those companies, hopefully for a good deal more than the cost of registration."
The pair had never intended to infringe trade marks or make money by "passing off" as the companies included in their web site names, said Mr Wilson.
Their registered domain names included "ladbrokes.com","marksandspencer.com" and even "spice-girls.net" and "buckinghampalace.org".
They never told the companies or individuals they were registering the domain names at a cost of £150 each but then wrote to them offering the name for sale or hire.
One company Mr Conway wrote to was fast-food chain Burger King which was offered the name "burgerking.co.uk." for £25,000 plus VAT, otherwise it would be available for sale to any other interested party.
But Mr Wilson told Lord Justice Stuart-Smith, Lord Justice Swinton Thomas and Lord Justice Aldous that the scheme was never intended to deceive.
He said it was not unlawful to register domain names and it was not passing off or trade mark infringement.
The hearings is expected to last two days.