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Domain Name Disputes

Are you looking for a Lawyer to advise on a Domain Name Dispute?

Domain Name Disputes have become increasingly common throughout this century. With domain names now forming an essential component of an enterprises branding and marketing strategy, they have become more valuable. Some businesses even go as far to use the dispute resolution procedure to reverse hijack a domain name.

Domain Name Disputes arise where:

  • Enterprises with similar names, perhaps from different jurisdictions or with similar products compete for control over certain domain names.
  • SEO competition increases and domains which are likely to perform well in a Google search become much sought after.
  • Bricks and mortar retail business suffer from changing consumer preferences and migrate online.
  • Political activists take up domain names related to their cause.
  • Cyber squatters seek to make money, by purchasing domain names with potential, in the hope a wealthy business wishes to move into a new geographic area or make use of a key phrase.
  • Businesses with similar names try their luck with the dispute resolution process, in the hope they can have a registered domain name transferred to them.

How is a Domain Name Dispute resolved?

IT Lawyers Brisbane are there to assist you with the process.

There are a number of steps in resolving a domain name dispute. It all starts with resolving the rules associated with the particular domain name. Each top level domain (.com, .net, etc.) has its own set of rules, as do the country code level domains (.com.au, .net.au, etc.).

From there a complaint is made to a relevant authority. Often this is the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) who have been granted authority to deal with many top level and country code level disputes. WIPO, or in Australia the .auDA, assigns one or more adjudicators to resolve the dispute. After determining the matter, if the complainant is successful, it will instruct the registrar of the domain name to transfer the name.

In order to be successful in a claim for a domain and have a domain name transferred, the claimant must satisfy several elements. The onus is on the claimant to prove each. Conversely, if the respondent wants to defend a claim against the respondent’s domain name, it should seek to prove one of the elements above is not met.

Using the .com.au country code domain as an example, the elements to be satisfied are:

  • The domain in question is identical or confusingly similar to a name, trade mark or service mark in which the claimant has rights.
  • The respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name.
  • The domain name has been registered or is being used in bad faith.

What do you do if you receive a Domain Name Dispute notice?

If you are faced with a Domain Name Dispute call IT Lawyers Brisbane and talk to us.

Like any legal action, you must take the service of any application, complaint or claim seriously. Often it is a matter of, if you don’t fight you lose. That said, the claimant can lose by failing to prove their case even if there is no response. However, you should NEVER rely on that outcome. Take the second element above. It will be easy for a claimant to allege the respondent has no rights to the domain name, and therefore prove that element if there is no response to the complaint.

How can we help?

IT Lawyers Brisbane are experienced at running Domain Name Disputes, including claims for reverse domain name hijacking.

We can prepare claims, responses to claims and advise on the likely outcome of a Domain Name Dispute.

We can also assist in negotiating and executing the purchase of domain names. Even where the registrant of the domain name has no legitimate claim, it is, at times, commercially viable to just purchase the domain name rather than engaging in a dispute. Whatever the circumstance our domain name lawyer can assist you and help you determine the right course of action.

We know tech.

Are you looking for an IT Lawyer that knows tech? Today almost every business is a technology business. Even if you are not on the cutting edge of innovation you are probably entering into business relationships with people who are. If you are not you should be. Helping businesses thrive and reducing transaction costs is at the very heart of any real IT Lawyer.

We know business.

Need a software development lawyer, with IT, business and accounting qualifications? One who spent over a decade running their own management consulting firm? The sort of commercial lawyer that can translate IT to business, business to law and law back to IT? Contact us today and speak to a multi-disciplinary commercial lawyer.

IT Lawyers Brisbane are proud to be based at River City Labs, in Brisbane's innovative heart.

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Contact us today for an obligation free discussion about your Domain Name Dispute.

If you need a domain name lawyer to advise on a claim you have received or one you are considering making you have come to the right spot.

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