As the internet progressively becomes a way of doing commercial transactions a rather dominant name recognition domain is increasingly becoming important as well. Many companies now see the value there is in having a registered domain name in the company name.
As it is, ever since inception; domain names registration is handed on a first come first serve basis. Before1999;the corporation; Network Solutions Inc.,then was the only company that was charged or rather that used to register domain names.
But since 1999, there have been plenty of domain name registration companies that have been given the mandate to register domain names having gained approval from The Internet Corporation for Assigned names better known as ICANN.
Who is ICANN
ICANN is an (NGO) non-profit-organization that was formulated purposely for the description of handling domain names and their registrations. Currently and ever since their inception, all registration companies run their domain registry business on a come first, first serve basis, the registrars always insist on the need of early domain registry.
Engagements and disagreements develop after two companies that have similar names and have the desire of registering similar domain name. Further, there are plenty of examples of individuals that register domain names since they know that either the individual or company associated to that domain name will want to use the domain and will settle for a speedy buy out.
But as a company seeks to register a domain name, a thorough search needs to be done to guarantee that the domain name hasn’t been bought by anyone else. If a company carries out a search and discovers that indeed someone else has already purchased the wanted domain name, the company can opt to either look for another domain name or contest over the domain name.
This brings us to the next step, the numerous ways in which domain name disagreements can be settled. The most old-fashioned and snail speed is going through the court cycle. Yes courts reserve the power of determining tenure over domain names and can either cancel or simply relocatetenure of the names.
The legal jargon that transpires in a court of law conventional touches on trademark law. Exceptin a situation where confusion is shown and proven it is quite an uphill task to have a domain name altered. Should there be a state of confusion, it can be challenged to prove,minus already having some form of name recognition.
Due to many issues faced by court systems, United States Congress approved the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act back in 1999 in the Month of November. This act eased the path for persons or businesses to prove their claim on a certain domain name through demonstrating aninferior level of confusion that would be needed for a trademark breach claim.
However, the Act doesn’t call for the claimant to prove that the defendant acted in malice. A coincidental registration is not grounds enough to invoke an annulment or ownership domain name transfer.
Due to the numerous challenges faced through an attempt of invalidating domain names ownership via legal process, it is useful and at times critical to resolve to other means of finding resolution.
The Uniform Domain Dispute Resolution Policy that was formed by ICANN is the best alternative to a court system. This is a policy that is in use by all credited registrars and use the policy to effectively resolve domain disputes.
It is mandatory that each individual or business registering a domain name agrees with the row resolution process that is carried inside the policy. The plan makes it possible for a trademark proprietor to prove tenure over the domain by proving:
- The challenger possesses a trademark whether registered or unregistered.
- The trademark is either the same or bewilderingly resembles the registered domain name.
- That the individual or group that registered the domain name has no moral right or concern in the domain name and finally that the domain name was registered and is not being used for the right intention in short it is being used in bad faith.
Why This Process
The dispute resolution process is way less expensive as opposed to taking the dispute into the court process. The dispute process is done via an administrative procedure in which a panel is set up and listens to both side and rules in the end if there is need for the domain name to be moved or canceled.
The three points mentioned above need to be proven in order for ownership over the domain name to be either transferred or canceled. Lack of indicating one of the essentials leads to the refusal from the panel to cancel the name.
An advantage showed by the process drawn in the policy is; opinions and refutations can be done through emails. This is an action that thoroughly minimizes cost of dispute resolution. Apart from court system, ICANN process is the other most commonly used and effective ways of influencingtenure over domain names.
Should you not wish to end up in a row in the future or feel like you need to guard yourself and your company,forging ahead you ought to;
- Possibly register any and all valid amenities as well as trademarks as soon as you can
- Try as much as you can to settle any domain name conflict away from any formal actions
- Refrain from giving into uncouth and irrationalfinancial demands
- Gather strong evidence that is necessary in showing that the contenderpossesses a trademark that is registered or unregistered and it is same or confusing comparable to the registered domain name
- The individual or group that registered the domain name has zero legal right nor interested in the domain name
- The domain name was registered & is or was used in bad faith
Doman Name Recognition
It goes without saying that name acknowledgment is the key to any fruitful marketing campaign and through scrutiny are you guaranteed that you are trying the best you can in maximizing the value of your company.
A qualified lawyer is best placed to help you go through any trials faced in domain name clash resolution.