Russia Legally Encourages Cybersquatting

    imageUnfair business practices of market entities are manifested in various activities of organizations, including in the field of the Internet.

    One of these new phenomena of the commercial use of the network is cybersquatting, which is the registration of domain names that can be bought in the future by some companies for a round sum.

    Examples of selling domain names from foreign practice:
    • - sold for 1 million 100 thousand US dollars.
    • - sold for 3 million 250 thousand US dollars.
    • - sold for $ 7 million 500 thousand.

    Types of Cybersquatting

    Brand domaining is the registration of domain names containing trademarks, company names, names of individuals, names of copyright objects. Dominers try, parasitizing on someone else’s fame, to sell such domain names to copyright holders or use the captured domains to redirect to other sites with a similar theme in order to “wind up” domain traffic statistics. Sometimes, in order to “stimulate” a legitimate applicant to accelerate the purchase of a domain, a domainer may establish a redirect from this domain to an Internet site of dubious content, damaging the reputation of the copyright holder.

    Typesquatting- This is the registration of domain names that are close in spelling to the domain names of popular Internet sites, but contain errors in the spelling of characters included in the domain name. Dominer can either use a double site to accumulate traffic statistics, or even set a redirect to a genuine Internet site that the Internet user was originally interested in.

    Domain doming- registration as a domain name of the commonly used name of a type of product or service, activity, etc. Domains do not register domain names for their own needs in order to conduct appropriate activities with their help, but again abuse the technical uniqueness of the domain name and the presence of a legitimate interest in bona fide business entities.

    Arbitrary domaining - registration as a domain name of a non-well-known abbreviation or non-existent (not widely known) word in the calculation of the appearance of demand for these designations in the future.

    Others - industry, geographical, nominal.

    Legal regulation

    One of the first legislative barriers to cybersquatting was the adoption in 1999 of the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA). ACPA enshrined the main prohibition on the use of a trademark when registering a domain name: “any person is liable to the trademark owner, using the appropriate designation, regardless of the goods or services of the trademark owner, in the case of registration of a domain name that is identical or similar to the degree of confusion with the trademark or a well-known trademark. ” Full text ACPA

    Russian Lawin relation to cybersquatting, and in particular the Civil Code of the Russian Federation, enshrines a rule that, in essence, enshrines the legal possibility of capturing a domain name - designations that are identical to a domain name, rights to which arose earlier than the priority date of the registered trademark, cannot be registered as trademarks sign.

    It turns out that the appearance of such a rule is apparently due to the fact that certain specialists in the field of intellectual property law still believe that the domain name is also subject to legal protection along with trademarks. Which, you see, is very strange.

    This position of the legislator is fully confirmed by the judicial practice, which, when resolving such disputes, is guided not by the person’s exclusive right to a trademark, but by the ratio of the date of registration of the domain name and the priority date of the trademark.

    Arbitrage practice

    So, the court examined the case where the plaintiff was the owner of the rights to the AvtoVAZ trademarks, which was registered on 11.11.1999 and, registered on 05.11.2004. The defendant was the owner of the domain name dated 02.21.2000. The case turned out to be rather confusing. The plaintiff filed a complaint against the owner of the domain and demanded to ban the use of the domain and claim compensation from the defendant in the amount of 1 million rubles.

    During the proceedings, it was revealed that the domain owner has the full right to use the domain, as it was registered before Avtovaz registered the trademark Avtovaz. But the court banned the use of the AvtoVAZ trademark on the website and ordered the defendant to pay compensation in the amount of 10,000 rubles and pay the state duty.

    But in the event of a lawsuit by the owner of the domain against our beloved manufacturer of domestic cars, the trademark would be recognized illegally and would be banned from use. It turns out that our legislation encourages the seizure of domain names, and if you decide to register a trademark, carefully study the domain names similar to the name of your trademark.

    The following materials were used in the article:
    1. Article "The Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act: Key Information"
    2. Vatskovsky Yu.F. Domain Disputes. Protection of trademarks and trade names. Statute, 2009.
    3. Sudarikov S.A. Intellectual Property Law. M .: Prospect, 2010.
    4. The ruling of the Ninth Arbitration Court of Appeal of April 13, 2009 in case No. A40-42348 / 08-15-353
    5. Resolution of the Presidium of the Supreme Arbitration Court of the Russian Federation dated December 08, 2009 No. 9833/09.

    Data from Lawmark's website was used

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