Domain Name Levels of Domain Name ICANN Domain names: Addressesor Trademarks? Domain Name Disputes Types of Domain NameDisputes Remedies
With the advancement of new technology, every person wants to have access cyber world. To navigate through this vast global collection of intercontennected computer networks (the internet), the domain name system (DNS) was invented. Domain names are now highly visible in real space as well- showing up a television commercials, billboards, magazine ads, and even the side of buses.
Domain names is primarily used to identify one computer from the millions of others connected to the internet enabling users to send e-mail, to access web pages, to transfer files. No two people can have the same telephone number and No two organizations can have the same domain name . An IP address consists of multiple levels identified by both, numbers and names. The number consists of four parts separated by periods (dots). For e.g. “22.214.171.124”- www.symlaw.ac.in (string number)
A domain name can be categorically divided into two levels.1) Top- level domains (TLD) divided into: Two-letter country codes (ccTLD) according to the ISO 3166 Standard (such as .in for India, .ar for Argentina, .fr for France; etc.) As of October 2009, there are 21 generic top-level domains and 250 two-letter country-code top-level domains. Three-letter generic top level domains (gTLD) of which important are: .com .org .net .edu .gov .mil .intFor eg: (www.symlaw.ac.in)- .in
2) Second- level domains(SLD): Under gLTDs, second level domains are chosen by the applicant; below the top-level domains in the domain name hierarchy are the second-level domain (SLD) names. These are the names directly to the left of .com, .net, and the other top-level domains. For e.g. .symlaw.ac SLD is more essential for our part of the discussion, because domain dispute arises here only.
interNIC -internet network information center (“interNIC”) maintains and administers the central database of all internet domain names NSI (US department of commerce)- first come, first served basis- interNIC granted Network Solutions Inc. (NSI) the exclusive authority to register domain names in the .com, .net and .org TLDs on behalf of the U.S Department of Commerce. In November 1998, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) was formed to assume responsibility for the IP address allocation, protocol parameter assignment, domain name system management, and root server system management functions and it is located in california. Restrictions for registration.
As trademark is used to distinguish the goods and services of one trader and it lets the general public associate the mark with any identity, it is defined as a source identifier. In a similar manner, with the increase of commercial activities on the internet, the domain name is also used as a business identifier. In the landmark case of Rediff Communication Ltd V Cyberbooth(AIR 2000 Bom 27), the court held that the domain name is a symbol that helps to ascertain the affiliation or association with its owner.
There are four types of domain name disputes: Cybersquatting, Profit Grabbing, MisspellingandIdentical Domain Name, Concurrent Claims.
Cybersquatting refers to the practice of domain names reflecting the names of existing companies, with an intention to sell the names back to businesses for a profit when they want to set up their websites.IN USA: Doctrine of Dilution. Anti-cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA).IN INDIA: cybersquatting has not been brought within the purview of the IT Act, In case of judicial challenges in Indian courts concerning infringement of trademarks by use of domain names.
Bisleri Case: In an Indian cybersquatting case also, popularly known as Bisleri case [Acqua Minerals Ltd. V Pramod Borse, 2001 PTC 619 (del)]: www.bisleri.comMr. Arun Jaitley Vs. Network Solutions Private Limited and Ors. (181(2011) DLT716 : Decided On: 04.07.2011, before Delhi High Court. www.arunjaitley.com
In this kind of domain dispute, the defendant indulges in the registration of a domain name similar to the other’s same or confusingly similar trademark or tradename, in order to gain profits out of such business.Satyam Infoway Ltd. V Sifynet Solutions Pvt. Ltd:(2004) 6 SCC 145 www.sifynet.com www.siffynet.com www.sifyrealestate.com www.siffynet.net www.sifymain.com
With the increase in business opportunities on Internet, many people tend to register domain names, which appear to be similar to that of the already registered domain names. It leads to confusion and misrepresentation in the minds of the general public with regard to the owner of such domain name.Yahoo! Inc. Vs Akash Arora [1999 (19) PTC 210 (Delhi)]: This case is to be considered as the first domain case in India decided by Supreme Court. www.yahoo.com www.yahooindia.com
Rediff Communication Ltd. V Cyberbooth (AIR 2000 Bom 27): www.rediff.com www.radiff.comInfo Edge (India) Pvt. Ltd V Shailesh Gupta 2002 (24) PTC 355 (Del)www.naukri.com www.naukari.com
Concurrent claims arise when two legitimate parties are involved in a dispute over a domain name, where each party claims that they are the true and legitimate owners of the acquired domain name, without any intention to pass off. Nissan Motors Co. Ltd. Vs Nissan Computer Corporation:www.nissan .com www.nissan .comwww.nissan.net www.nissan.net
URDP- Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy is a policy adopted by ICANN that provides a mechanism for trademark owners to obtain domain names from cyber squatters. The first dispute under the ICANN policy was decided on January 14, 2000, and has been published by the WIPO, which provided the single panelist. World Wrestling Federation Entertainment Inc. Vs Michael Bosman.
Disputes over web addresses are gaining ground in india over the past few years. Along the lines of the Anti Cybersquatting Act of the US and there by send a strong signal to the cybersquatters that we are not going to take intellectual property violations in the cyberspace lightly.
Domain Names, Global Practice and Procedure. Sweet & Maxwell 2000. Copyright and Trademark Laws relating to computers by Pankaj Jain and Pandey Sangeet Rai. Trademarks, the emerging cyber property rights by V.K. Unni. Law of Trademarks and Passing off by P. Narayanan.