Trademarks and Domain Names

The Internet and domain name opened up a new area of trademark law. Since domains are issued in a different way than trademarks. For instance, there is no trademark class for domains and you don’t need a trademark to register a domain so conflicts arise all the time. Complex dispute procedures have been developed for the different types of domain names. For .com the dispute procedure and “legislative history” is found here. WIPO has published an overview of issues and case decisions. However, there is no appeal process unless the matter is taken to court. As a result, there are many conflicting decisions.

In US Federal Court the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act 15 USC § 1125(d). A trademark owner can request a cancellation or transfer of the domain name as well as money to cover damages caused by the domain holder.