Centre for Entrepreneurs drops demands for Startup Britain domain handover

Business Matters helps secure victory for a British blogger in his battle to retain the domain startupbritain.co.uk registered before the government backed scheme launched four years ago.

Yesterday we reported that Centre for Entrepreneurs (CFE), the think tank which now runs the government supported initiative Startup Britain was trying to force a UK blogger give up the domain name startupbritain.co.uk which he registered before the body was created.

We are happy to report that following our coverage we were contacted by the Centre for Entrepreneurs to tell us that they were dropping their threat of legal action made against Stephen Croome and claims to the domain registered by him prior to Startup Britain being launched in March 2011.

CFE took over the government backed initiative created to help people starting their own business in the UK last year after the organisation had spent three years under the direction of  its eight co-founders seeing just under a million new businesses formed.

We were very pleased to receive the statement from CFE, Director, Matt Smith: “Neither the CFE nor SUB want to become embroiled with Mr Croome, who we now recognise has the right to the URL digital signature. We believe a misunderstanding occurred due to the close timing of his registration to our launch – believing him to be a cyber-squatter. In the light of recent activity we now accept that this is not the case and wish Mr Croome well. Perhaps we can mutually-post a re-navigation link on each others’ website? ”

Smith added: “StartUp Britain is owned and run by the Centre for Entrepreneurs – a small and independent non-profit organisation that has no funding from the government, so it is certainly not the “might of the government weighing down on an individual”. Indeed, StartUp Britain has created unique opportunities for thousands of small businesses over the past four years, free of cost.

The Centre relies on partnerships and donations to extend the reach of StartUp Britain activities, including initiatives such as PitchUp, the annual Bus Tour and Marketing Week. Given this, it is only natural that we would want to protect the value of our trademarked brand to maintain our ability to continue working to support businesses across the UK.”

Speaking after we passed on the news to him, Stephen Croome said: “I am so pleased that Business Matters as the country’s largest business magazine felt able to raise the profile of this matter and seemingly make sense of a situation that was simply wrong and would have potentially cost me thousands of pounds in legal costs to defend something that I should have never had to defend as was in the right all along.”

Speaking about the magazines involvement Business Matters Managing Editor Richard Alvin, said: “I was very pleased that this matter could be very swiftly resolved and with very little cost especially to Mr Coomes. As a Startup Britain local ambassador and huge advocate of startups myself I was very disheartened by CEF’s actions.

What appears to have been a misunderstanding quickly became completely counterintuitive to the aims of both the Centre for Entrepreneurs and Startup Britain itself and I am pleased that Matt Smith acted promptly. It was clear to me that Mr Croome was in the right, a fact backed up IP and trademark lawyer Chris Sherliker, partner at Silverman Sherliker when we contacted him and I was pleased that Business Matters could play a part in bringing the matter to a swift conclusion.”


Paul Jones

Editor of Business Matters, the UKs largest business magazine, and head of Capital Business Media's automotive division working for clients such as Aston Martin and Infiniti.


Editor of Business Matters, the UKs largest business magazine, and head of Capital Business Media's automotive division working for clients such as Aston Martin and Infiniti.