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Law / Featured Blogs

When Two Trademarks Aren't Confusingly Similar to One Trademark

As I've written before, domain name disputes involving multiple trademarks sometimes raise interesting issues, including whether a panel can order a domain name transferred to one entity without consent of the other. While panels typically have found ways to resolve this issue, one particularly troubling fact pattern arises when a panel denies a complaint simply because a disputed domain name contains trademarks owned by two different entities. more»

Timing Is All: Cybersquatting or Mark Owner Overreaching?

Admittedly, timing is not altogether "all" since there's a palette of factors that go into deciding unlawful registrations of domain names, and a decision as to whether a registrant is cybersquatting or a mark owner overreaching, is likely to include a number of them, but timing is nevertheless fundamental in determining the outcome. Was the mark in existence before the domain name was registered? Is complainant relying on an unregistered mark? What was complainant's reputation when the domain name was registered? What proof does complainant have that registrant had knowledge of its mark? Simply to have a mark is not conclusive of a right to the domain name. more»

Thoughts on the Proposed Copyright Alternative Dispute Resolution Policy

A proposal from the Domain Name Association (DNA) would provide copyright owners with a new tool to fight online infringement -- but the idea is, like other efforts to protect intellectual property rights on the Internet, proving controversial. The proposed Copyright Alternative Dispute Resolution Policy is one of four parts of the DNA's "Healthy Domains Initiative" (HDI). more»

Narcotics Traffic Is Not Part of a Healthy Domain System

A stack contrast is emerging within the DNS between providers who tolerate blatantly illegal domain use and those who do not. Our study, just published here focuses on five U.S.-based providers, their policies, and their response to reports of opioid traffic within their registry or registrar. There are many providers, not covered here, who removed hundreds of domains selling opioids and I applaud their efforts. more»

How to Suspend a .US Domain Name

Although rarely used, the usTLD Rapid Suspension Dispute Policy (usRS) allows a trademark owner to seek the suspension of a domain name in the .us country-code top-level domain (ccTLD). The usRS has many things in common with the Uniform Rapid Suspension System (URS), which applies to domain names in the new generic top-level domains (gTLD). more»

A Template for Adequacy: EU Pitches for Data Protection Gold Standard

Largely unnoticed by technology and Brussels wonks, the European Commission's on adequacy for international data flows was released in early January. The primary aim of this document is to promote the EU's data protection regime as the global gold standard, to which other countries should aspire. In so doing, the Commission wants to remove data protection as a bargaining chip in free trade negotiations, insisting this should instead be dealt with separately, by opening adequacy negotiations with the Commission. more»

The Worrying Prospects for Digital Trade Under President Trump

US leadership and influence online stems from US innovation and corporate risk-taking. But it also is the direct result of US Government policy. In the early days of the web and e-commerce, the Clinton administration recognized they had to figure out a strategy to reconcile the internet, which is global, with laws and regulations, which are domestic. Instead of demanding negotiations for shared global rules, Administration officials put forward a set of principles, which they called the Framework for Global Electronic Commerce. more»

Identical or Confusingly Similar to Trademarks but Noninfringing Domain Names

Domain names may be confusingly similar to trademarks or even identical or but not infringing. This is particularly true of trademarks acquired later than the allegedly infringing domain names ArcBest Corporation v. Domains By Proxy, LLC, Registration Private / Vernon Troupe, D2016-2381 (WIPO January 13, 2017) (<arcbest.com>, in which "ark" is a contraction of "Arkansas"), but it can also apply to marks composed of common element that predate domain name registration... more»

Is More Protection of Intellectual Property Rights Necessary on the Internet?

I firmly believe that we need to protect any form of intellectual properties (IP) built by one through hard and honest work. At the same time, I also believe that several of the current methods of protecting IP, such the as the copyright laws, patent systems and legislations, are not evolving fast enough in order to protect IP and avoid hindering the path of creativity and innovation. more»

Are Domain Names Contract of Services or Property Rights?

There are several perspectives from which one can give various answers to the question of 'what are domain names?'. Originally the domain name system started and continues to be a human-friendly way of addressing to a set of machines or specific machine connected to the Internet. Hence, from the technical perspective, a domain name is simply an address consisting of a combination of alphanumeric and symbols to communicate with a machine which also happens to be hosting certain services in form of data and information on it. more»