Cyber law is indeed a complicated matter where holding someone guilty is ever more difficult due to the intricate nature of technology. As such, it is often the case that various domain name holders find themselves amidst a legal claim from another party accusing them of misconduct.
Since digital laws can be confusing and sometimes overwhelming, it is important that we make ourselves well-informed regarding such rules and regulations. One area of concern is that of domain law which has had a considerable number of cases and as such, warrants our attention.
Here you will find some of the main issues regarding domain name laws that you, as a domain seller, should know.
#1 Trademarks and Domain Name use
One of the biggest issues arising in the world of domain names is that of a trademark. Various domain name holders, deliberately or accidentally, use names that are already being used. The problem arises when the names are registered trademarks of other entities in operation.
Such issues can lead to heated disputes as to who is the original owner of the trademark or domain name. Furthermore, legal court cases can cost a lot of time and money.
Therefore, it is necessary to know about the various pathways and resources available to you to settle the disputes accordingly.
#2 The Uniform Domain-Name Dispute Resolution Policy
In this regard, the Uniform Domain-name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP) is one of the avenues that domain name owners may need to go to if they find themselves amidst a domain name dispute.
The UDRP is a structured legal procedure through which the interested parties can resolve their issues under supervision of certain members. These members belong to the World Intellectual Property Association (WIPO).
The UDRP is founded by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and applies to every major domain including .com, .org, .net etc.
#3 The criteria to file a claim
Not everyone can file a claim against domain name owners. There are essentially three factors that need to be established before making such claims. These three factors are as follows.
– The domain name and the trademark must be identical or confusingly similar
– The domain name holder has registered the domain name in “bad faith”
– The domain name holder does not possess any legal rights to the domain name.
Until and unless the plaintiff establishes the aforementioned facts, he/she cannot bring in a UDRP claim.
#4 What else will the UDRP look at before acting?
There are quite a number of things that the UDRP will look at before holding someone guilty.
One of the factors include identifying whether the domain name holder used the name to primarily harm the business of the trademark holder.
It may also involve considering the fact that whether the domain name holder used the name to gain commercial advantage by confusing the target audience with an identical trademark of the plaintiff.
In conclusion, whenever registering a domain name, it is vital that you make sure that it does not matches with any registered trademark.
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