The war of Wong's web
Could it be that Wall Street's investment banks have let a 17-year high-school student named Ivan Wong walk all over them? Banks like Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley Dean Witter?
Wong wants Morgan Stanley to pay him $75,000 to hand over a web address that cost him and his father Sau just $70 to register, netting him a 100,000% return for his foresight in registering the msdwonline.com address.
Morgan Stanley refused to pay out and is now embroiled in costly legal action against the registered owners of the internet address msdwonline.com. It wants to reclaim the address for a new online share trading service and argues that the existing website that's called up by this address, Mud Sweat's Downhill World, is a spoof.
Although Morgan Stanley turned down an invitation to discuss the subject, it did confirm that the bank has started legal action. "This matter is pending," said an official at Morgan Stanley, "but at the moment we have no further comment."
Morgan Stanley has circulated a written statement that says: "There has been a proliferation of lawsuits initiated by corporate entities seeking to protect corporate names and monikers from misuse on the internet.