Domain name, website and Facebook use of a trade mark: when does it infringe?

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The allocation of domain names generally occurs on a first-come first-served basis. That contrasts drastically with the registered trade mark system where some proof of entitlement is required to obtain registration. A party seeking to register a domain name need not prove any entitlement, although for some country code domains some proof of connection to the jurisdiction is required.
Some of the newer domain extensions operate on a different basis. In the .com sphere an applicant for registration need show no rights to any name or trade mark comprised within the domain name chosen. All that is required is that the precise domain name is available for purchase, the fee is paid and the applicant agrees to the terms of the registration agreement (including submitting to Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) arbitration in certain circumstances). The organisation that registers the domain name undertakes no check of rights or entitlements. Therefore, numerous domain names are registered without the registrant having any rights whatever to trade marks (whether they be common law or registered) comprised within them.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-146
Number of pages4
JournalInternet Law Bulletin
Issue number9&10
Publication statusPublished - May 2020


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