The Wii U launched on November 18th in the US (Photo : Nintendo)
Nintendo has lost a claim it filed with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) earlier this week, disputing the ownership of the WiiU.com domain name.
According to Fusible, the case was filed by Nintendo of America in February, with the company looking to have the privately held domain transferred to them. WiiU.com was originally registered in 2004, a full seven years before the Wii U game console was even announced in 2011.
The ruling was decided over the weekend, coming down in favor of the current owner of the domain. This is likely due to the fact that the owner had registered WiiU.com before the product's name had been revealed. Nintendo can likely appeal the decision, or attempt to purchase the domain in a private sale.
Considering that WiiU.com is currently a placeholder directory page, the latter option seems much more likely, and more financially beneficial for both parties.
There are currently no official details from Nintendo concerning this case, as the company is most likely seeking to move through these proceedings as subtly as possible. The owner of the domains has likewise not made an official statement.
Interestingly, this is the second such case of a console maker attempting to claim ownership of a domain name this year. In May, Microsoft registered a case with the National Arbitration Forum to attempt to grab control of XboxOne.com and XboxOne.net. Both of these were registered in December 2011, two years before the product announcement, and are currently owned by a London resident unaffiliated with the gaming industry.
The Xbox One was announced earlier this year during a press conference at Microsoft's headquarters. It is currently slated for a November 2013 release window.