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Last Updated: Sunday, 23 July 2006, 14:29 GMT 15:29 UK
Rooney's legal fight for website
Wayne Rooney
Brand name: Wayne Rooney in Manchester United's new kit
Soccer star Wayne Rooney has begun legal action against a Welsh TV actor for the ownership of two websites in the player's name.

Huw Marshall registered WayneRooney.com and WayneRooney.co.uk in April 2002, when the striker was just 16.

The case has been taken to the United Nations' World Intellectual Property Organisation in Geneva, Switzerland.

Mr Marshall, who is in Welsh-language drama Tipyn o Stad, said it was with solicitors and he could not comment.

Rooney, 20, has become one of football's biggest stars with Manchester United and England in the past few years.

His profile soared in October 2002 when he hit a spectacular last-minute winner for Everton against Arsenal to become at the time the Premiership's youngest goal-scorer.

But six months before that the two domains in his name had already been registered.

Anyone trying to log on to WayneRooney.com or WayneRooney.co.uk at present is told that the sites are "coming soon".

Mr Marshall, who is originally from Wrexham - just across the Welsh border from Rooney's home city of Liverpool - plays the head of a troublesome family in Tipyn o Stad, a series on the Welsh fourth channel S4C.

The actor told BBC News he had been advised not to comment.

'Cybersquatter'

A spokesman for Rooney also declined to comment.

Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise has won a struggle to use the address tomcruise.com
Other well-known names and organisation have fought legal battles over domain addresses.

Film director Spike Lee successfully took action in 2004 against a "cybersquatter" who used spikelee.com to redirect surfers to a pornographic website.

The World Intellectual Property Organisation (Wipo) ruled that the name had been registered "in bad faith".

In 2000 the BBC thwarted an attempt to auction off the internet domain names bbc1.com and bbc2.com.

Tom Cruise also won the right to use tomcruise.com after a Wipo ruling this month.

  • Merseyside Police are investigating after memorabilia owned by Rooney was stolen in a burglary at his parents' home in Liverpool on Saturday night.

    England caps, a World Cup 2006 shirt and his BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year trophy were taken.




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