Domain Names

A domain name is a mnemonic for the string of numerals that identifies a website or other resource on the internet. Since businesses began to advertise on the worldwide web these mnemonics have become exceedingly important. Well known examples include <bbc.co.uk> and <microsoft.com>.  Until now have been generic (those ending in descriptive suffices such as “.com”, “,org”, “.biz” and “.info”) or geographic (suffixes for particular countries such as “.uk”, “.fr”, “.jp”, “.cn” or “.de” or regions of the world such as “.eu” and “.asia”). Very shortly it will be possible to register suffixes for cities such as “.london”, counties such as “.ker” for Cornwall and even companies.

This area of the law is another of NIPC’s strengths. Jane Lambert sits on the WIPO list of neutrals for domain name disputes. She was one of the first lawyers in the world to write about ICANN’s plans to set up a domain name dispute resolution panel in 1998. She was one of the first (if not the first) barrister to settle a claim under the UDRP in 2000. An updated list of her domain name decisions appears elsewhere on this website.

We can advise parties to domain name disputes how best to safeguard their trade marks and goodwill or domain name registrations. We can draft complaints and responses for UDRP disputes relating to “.com”, “.org” and other generic top level domain name disputes before the WIPO, NAF or any other dispute resolution service provider. We can advise, draft complaints and responses, represent parties in telephone mediations and draft and respond to appeals relating to “.uk” domain names in Nominet’s Dispute Resolution Service. We can draft complaints and responses for proceedings before the Czech Arbitration Court in “.eu” domain name disputes.  We can advise and represent parties in all other ADR proceedings relating to domain names including those that concern the proposed new generic top level domains.

If litigation is necessary against cyber-squatters or even domain name registrars we can advise and represent parties before the Chancery Division and other civil courts.

We can also advise on non-contentious matters such as sales, mortgages and leases of domain names and draft contracts and other instruments to give effect to those transactions.

Whenever there is a significant development of the law relating to domain names, or whenever we discover a point of law that we would like to share with the industry and the industry’s other professional advisors, we will at least blog it. If we think it is sufficiently important we may even publish an article or special feature on the topic.   Also, from time to time we hold conferences and seminars on the legal issues affecting domain names.

If you would like to receive updates on IP law relating to domain names and news of our conferences and seminars, please complete this form.

Case Histories

Jane Lambert       “Advising on a Domain Name Transfer”

Jane Lambert “Groundless Threats”

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