The use or registration of a domain name may be unlawful towards a holder of a similar domain name or in conflict with a trade mark and/or trade name law. 

Infringement of trade mark or trade name

If you are confronted with the use of a domain name that matches your domain name, trade name or brand, you can take action against this abuse. Whether the unauthorized use of the respective trade name is unlawful, will depend on the circumstances of the case. Circumstances that are relevant are:

  • the degree of similarity between the domain names, trade marks or trade names involved;
  • the likelihood of confusion for the public by using the domain name;
  • the content of the website that is possibly linked to the domain name.

Proceedings

If you wish to oppose the use or registration of a domain name, proceedings before the ordinary courts or an arbitration before the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) can be considered. That choice depends on the basis of your claim.

Seizure domain name

If there is a risk that the domain name will be transferred to other parties during the proceedings, there is the possibility of placing a precautionary seizure on the domain name. This entails that the domain name cannot be transferred to another owner during the proceedings. If based on the outcome of the proceedings you are entitled to the domain name, the domain name will be transferred to you.

Further information

We have extensive experience with domain name disputes. If you have questions about this topic or would like to discuss a case lease contact the Company and Insolvency section.