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What is the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy?

The Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the UDRP Policy) adopted by the ICANN Board on October 24, 1999 sets out the legal framework for the resolution of disputes between a domain name registrant and a third party over the abusive registration and use of an Internet domain name in the generic top level domains or gTLDs (e.g., .biz, .com, .info, .mobi, .name, .net, .org), and those country code top level domains or ccTLDs that have adopted the UDRP Policy on a voluntary basis. The procedure is administered by dispute resolution service providers accredited by ICANN (e.g. WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center)

Any person or entity wishing to register a domain name in the gTLDs and ccTLDs in question is required to consent to the terms and conditions of the UDRP Policy.

 

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What is the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)?

ICANN is a global non-profit, private sector organization that manages Internet resources for the public benefit. It is best known for its role as technical coordinator of the Internet’s Domain Name System.

To coordinate, at the overall level, the global Internet’s systems of unique identifiers, and in particular to ensure the stable and secure operation of the Internet’s unique identifier systems. In particular, ICANN:

1.       Coordinates the allocation and assignment of the three sets of unique identifiers for the Internet, which are:

a.      Domain names (forming a system referred to as DNS)

b.      Internet protocol addresses and autonomous system numbers

c.      Protocol port and parameter numbers

2.       Coordinates the operation and evolution of the DNS root name server system

3.       Coordinates policy development reasonably and appropriately related to these technical functions.

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What is Typosquatting?

Typosquatting, also called URL hijacking, is a form of cybersquatting that targets Internet users who incorrectly type a website address into their web browser. Should a user accidentally enter an incorrect website address, they may be led to alternative website, usually designed for malicious purposes such as stealing identities, installing drive-by malware, redirect web traffic to their own or a competitor’s product, or making revenue from the user clicking on advertisements.

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What is Cybersquatting? 

Cybersquatting  is the practice of registering as Internet domains identical or similar to a third party company name or trade mark, with bad faith intent to profit from the goodwill of a third party brand, or in the hope of reselling them at a profit.

Cybersquatters exploit the first-come, first-served nature of the domain name registration system to register as domain names, third parties’ trademarks or business names or names of famous people, as well as variations thereof.

A common motive for cybersquatting is the intention to sell the domain name back to the trademark owner, to profit from the goodwill of a third party brand, or to attract web traffic to unrelated commercial offers.

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What is a domain name?

Domain name is a human-friendly form of an Internet address. It is used to identify the complicated string of numbers composing an IP Address which is hard to remember by heart. In other words, a domain name is linked to the relevant IP address and is used to find web pages in a user-friendly way. Domain names are registered with accredited Registrars and consist of two parts: a top-level domain (TLD – .com, .net, .org, .eu) and a second level domain, which represents the entity that owns the domain name.

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No. To qualify for trade mark protection a domain name itself should function as a trade mark. Concretely this signifies that a domain name must not be used simply as an address to direct to a website, but to identify the products and/or services of the business, which provides products and/or services via the Internet.  For example this will be the case of a domain name used in connection with a website that offers web-related services.

The registration of a domain name with an accredited registrar does not automatically signify that the same or similar sign will satisfy the requirements for trade mark registration. You can register as a domain name common or descriptive terms, that usually do not qualify for trade mark protection. Furthermore trade mark protection of a sign is needed only when such a sign will be used to identify and distinguish the commercial origin of the products and/or services of one company from those of another company.

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Registering a domain name means that you have the right to use the name for the registration term, consistent with certain terms and conditions, as well as applicable laws.

Registering a domain name does not give you any ownership (proprietary) rights to the name. Only a registered trade mark can provide that kind of protection.

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The system for domain name registration generally operates on a first-come first-served basis and no two domain names can be exactly the same. It is strongly advisable to search the domain name databases and to check that the same or a similar domain name doesn't already exist or exists in another top-level domain.

The easiest way to check if a domain name is available is at one of the companies that have been approved to register domain names. A list of accredited and accreditation-qualified registrars can be found on the ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) web site: www.icann.org

It is also a best practice to do a trademark search before you register your domain name, since domain registrars generally do not check if a requested name violates an existing trademark. Therefore, if you register a domain name that conflicts with someone else’s trademark, you could lose the right to it if the trademark owner takes legal action against you.