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Domain Names_ Trademarks and UDRP

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					Domain Names and UDRP
        Henry Olsson
 Purpose of the presentation
• The purpose of the presentation is
  – not to provide technical details about domain
    names and their registration
  – but instead to deal with how conflicts between
    domain names and trademarks can be solved
           Domain names
• The domain name system
  – is a naming system for use on the Internet
  – is a kind of ”phone book” for the Internet
  – A domain name is recognizable for the human
    eye but in fact refers to an Internet address
  – for instance 208.77.188.166.
            Domain names
• A domain name consists of
  – a word that can be chosen freely
  – and a ”top-level domain (TLD) name
    • which can be either a generic top level domain
      (gTLD) consisting of three or more characters, or
    • a country code top-level domain (ccTLD)
      consisting of two characters.
            Domain names
• ”gTLDs” are
  – .com
  – .net.
  – .org
  – .info
  – .mobi
  – .biz
    • etc. and more are coming.
           Domain names


• ”ccTLDs” are, for instance,.se, .ch.
• and corresponding for your countries.
          Domain names
• Usually a domain name is used for
  identifying a home page,
• for instance ”prv.se” or ”olsson-
  koskinen.com”
           Domain names

• To access the home page also ”www” (for
  ”World Wide Web”) has to be used
  (e.g.www.prv.se).

• Rights in a domain name is obtained
  through registration with a Registrar
  (e.g.”prv.se”)
           Domain names


• Domain names are also often used in e-
  mail addresses:
  – bo.hallgren@prv.se
          Cybersquatting
• Domain names can be economically very
  valuable
• and have a considerable advertising and
  marketing potential.
• Becuse the freedom to chose any word for
  the main part of the domain name
• often unscrupulous persons take another
  person´s trademark och put it into their
  own domain names (”cybersquatting”).
          Cybersquatting
• May have undesirable consequences
• and leads to losses for the owner of the
  trademark
• Sometimes such websites take a visitor to
  the websites of other persons who thus
  use the reputation of the original
  trademark owner for their own purposes.
Administration of domain names
• Overall responsibility for managing the
  domain name system lies with
• The Internet Corporation for Assigned
  Names and Numbers (ICANN)
• ICANN is a US private entity.
• Under the supervision of ICANN a number
  of Registries operate that carry out the
  registration of domain names.
Conflicts between domain names
         and trademarks
• In some countries cybersquatting is
  explicitly dealt with in law
• Example: the Anticybersquatting
  Consumer Protection Act of the United
  States
• The Trademarks Act of India.
               Conflicts
• All Registries acredited by ICANN are
  bound to include in the registration
  agreement a clause
• for the registrant to comply with a
  mandatory arbitration procedure
• in case someone challenges the
  ownership of the domain name
• for instance, because it includes a
  trademark.
                Conflicts
• The Uniform Domain Name Dispute
  Resolution Policy (UDRP)
• was approved by ICANN in 1999
• and has to be included by reference in all
  registration agreements
                   UDRP
• A mandatory administrative proceeding
  shall be initiated if a complainant claims
  – that the domain name is identical or
    confusingly similar to a mark in which
    comlainant has rights
  – that the domain name holder has no rights or
    legitimate interests in the the domain name
  – that the domain name has been registered
    and is being used in bad faith.
                    UDRP
• UDRP also includes some indications of
  which circumstances would constitute
  – evidence of registration and use in bad faith
  – failure to demonstrate rights and legitimate
    interests in the domain name.
                  UDRP
• There are several providers of dispute
  resolution services.
• The most important one is the WIPO
  Arbitration and Mediation Center.
• A dispute resolution takes place before a
  panel
• normally one person but, if so requested,
  three persons.
                   UDRP
• Remedies:
• the domain name can be
  – cancelled, or
  – transferred to the complainant
• depending on what complainant has
  requested.
                  UDRP
• A decision by the Panel to cancel or
  transfer a domain name
• is implemented after ten business days
  have lapsed from the decision
• (to give time to go to Court to contest the
  decision).
                   UDRP
• According to WIPO Statistics
  – 85 % of the decisions lead to
    cancellation/transfer
  – 15 % to denial of the complaint.
                  UDRP
• Since the introduction of UDRP ten years
  ago
  – WIPO has dealt with around 15 000 cases
  – and received in 2008 2 329 complaints.
  – This shows that the UDRP has proved to be a
    cost-effective, quick and reliable way of
    solving disputes between trademarks and
    domain name owners.

				
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