Domain Name Disputes and Arbitration Essay

Published: 2020-02-22 02:50:33
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Category: Arbitration

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The sudden explosion over the use of the internet in todays world has placed domain names in direct conflict with trademarks. The use of a domain name would apply throughout the world, as the internet is accessible throughout the world. On the other hand, the trademark laws of a particular nation would vary with that of another, and hence, there is always a chance that trademark laws and domain name laws are in direct conflict with one another. Domain names would apply to the product and services of a service provider and hence ought to be given the same protection as trademarks .

On the other hand, registries that register domain names give the importance of registering on a first-come-first served basis. Oppositions would say domain names contains alphabets and numerals, and hence, qualify to become a trademark. However, no rule is hard and fast. Domain name owners feel that the domain names are not protected under trademark laws as the internet is a global media having no offline limitation. On the other hand, the trademark owners feel that domain names are trademarks and hence are liable to file for dilution, unfair competition, etc .

One of the main reasons as to why there is intense disputes with regards to domain names, is due cyber-squatting, in which somebody would register a particular domain name, and later try to sell it to the trademark owner. Domain name registries are accepting registration of domain names on a first-come first-served basis, and hence any person can register a popular trademark as a domain name and later plan to sell to the trademark owner. Often the prices quoted by the cyber-squatters are much more than what is paid of registration.

Besides, cyber-squatters can misuse the trademark of the owner, and in turn wrongfully attract customers or tarnish the name of the original trademark owner . In the year 1995, the NSI framed a policy to settle disputes between domain name holders and trademark holders. The NSI is left out of the conflict and does not have the right to suspend the services of the domain name holder. Slowly, the importance of the trademark owners began to be felt. Trademarks owners can extent their services on to the internet, considering that it would be an ideal environment for business purposes.

Customers on the other hand may also consider domain names being similar to trademarks for search purposes . One of the means of solving domain name disputes is by adopting the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy implemented by the ICANN in 1999. This is mainly to solve the disputes that arise between domain name owners and trademark owners. The WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Centre would conduct the UDRP procedures. The process is much faster than the courts, and besides the decisions given is credible and impartial.

The fees that are imposed are less than the routine courts . ICANN and UDRP The ICANN UDRP has been implemented for several TLDs including . net, . com, . org, etc. However, it is not applicable to the country level TLDs, such as . uk, . in, etc. The dispute resolution policy would occur between the domain name holder and the registering authority, such as country-coded domain registering organisation. The UDRP would set the terms and conditions that would arise in case of conflict arise between the domain name holder and any other party, except the registrar (ICANN).

According to the ICANN, certain terms and conditions need to be followed when registering for a domain name. The registrant should ensure that all statements made are true, complete, and the domain name would not violate the rights of others. The domain name so registered would not be done for an illegal cause and would not be used to overcome any law. Any action done for the domain name would be lead to the owner being held responsible.

The ICANN can transfer, modify or cancel a domain name registered if the domain name registrant requires so, if the court having a jurisdiction requires that the domain name be changed or cancelled or if a relevant administrative body requires that the domain name be changed or expelled. Depending on the situations, the ICANN would make a request to the domain name holder to perform such changes. The URDP procedure would be conducted before an administrative tribunal. Usually such tribunals would come into action whenever a third party has an issue with a particular domain name and files an application for objection before the ICANN.

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