A Newfoundland writer has unexpectedly won an Internet domain names battle with retailers Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Kenneth Harvey was allowed to keep the domain name wallmartcanadasucks.com despite having to hand over walmartcanadasucks.com and walmartcanada.com over to the Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer.

Wal-Mart claimed that the domain names were confusingly similar to its trademarked name and wanted all three domain names to be turned over to them.

Arbitrator Henry Perritt Jr wrote in his ruling: "[Harvey] may be acting unfairly. He may be engaged in unwarranted disparagement. He may be acting childishly. He may be retaliating for having lost earlier cybersquatting cases. But this does not necessarily mean that he may be forced to transfer the accused domain name to the complainant under the [arbitration rules], considering the purpose."

Wal-Mart will be allowed to appeal the decision in the courts.