In today’s business environment, trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other forms of intellectual property are important to every business. This Intellectual Property Primer from the law offices of Borden Ladner & Gervais provides an overview of the fundamental principles of intellectual property law, and how it applies to the important area of website domain names. Read full article »
- Can a domain name be a trade-mark?: Yes, a domain name can be a trade-mark, provided that the general requirements of trade-mark law are satisfied. To be protected by trade-mark law, a mark must be both distinctive and used to identify the source of goods or services. The Canadian Intellectual Property Office and the United States Patent and Trademark Office have both indicated that applications for trade-mark registrations of domain names will generally be considered in accordance with traditional trade-mark principles. The application for and registration of a domain name as a trade-mark must include a disclaimer of any exclusive right to the TLD (for example, .com or .ca) apart from the trade-mark as a whole.
- Is the domain name registrar liable for registering a domain name that infringes a trade-mark?: Courts have generally declined to impose liability on domain name registrars for granting a domain name registration to one party that infringes a trade-mark owned by another person.
- How are disputes over the rights to a domain name resolved?: Disputes involving alleged bad faith registration and use of .com, .net, .org, .biz and .info domain names may be resolved pursuant to the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (“UDRP”), which has been implemented by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (“ICANN”) and incorporated into applicable registration agreements. The UDRP is intended to provide an efficient and cost-effective procedure for resolving cybersquatting disputes.