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Legal briefing notes

Protection of domain name: domain disputes

A domain is a kind of the name of the site its unique address. Since 2012 the Russian legislation (namely, in Article 2 of the Federal Law "On Information, Information Technologies and Information Protection", paragraph 15) formulates its own definition of the domain name. It is said that: “A domain name is a symbolic identification that is designed for addressing the websites on the Internet in order to provide access to information ...”

Domains do not belong to the results of the intellectual activity or means of personalization so exclusive rights are protected according to the general terms of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation.

Disputes with domain names: the possible reasons

The most frequent causes of domain disputes are:

  • Disputes that are caused with posting of any information on the site (for example, product logos, trademarks without authorization of the right holder);
  • Disputes due to the change of ownership domain rights from one person to another (the change of domain rights is often established as a unilateral transaction and it can lead to problems if the registrar for some reason has not re-registered the domain for a new administrator);
  • Disputes that are raised regarding the unlawful use of a trademark in a domain name (this may include the misleading registration of a domain for resale to the owner of the corresponding trademark).

Protection of rights to domain names

  • he first thing to do is to identify the person who owns the website that violates your rights. Often it is not so easy to receive this information from public records. Initially, through the service whois, you need to find out who is the owner of the website. Is it a natural or a legal entity?
  • If the owner of the site is a natural entity it will be possible to find out it only through a request to the registrar. He will provide this information (according to clause 9.1.5. of the Rules of domain name registration in .RU and .RF domains).
  • If necessary, you should send a claim demanding to cease violations and to pay damages. Such a claim will be required in case the grounds of the dispute are a violation of exclusive rights, and the right holder and the violator are legal entities or individual entrepreneurs.
  • Appeal to the court with the application for security. This should help to avoid changing the registrar or the owner of the website before the claim is accepted for consideration.
  • Prepare a statement of claim and appeal to the appropriate court. It was important to indicate clearly the demands in the statement of claim. The options of the demands are termination of the use of a domain that is confusingly similar to a company name, removal of defamatory information from the website, change of domain administrator rights.

Domain disputes, services of The Tsentralny Okrug Law Firm

Do you need to sell or return the website or to sue the domain? We provide a full range of services to help resolve your situation. Our services on the protection of domain names include:

  • Consultations of specialists;
  • Free rapid assessment of the specifics of the business and the situation of the client;
  • Составление договоров купли-продажи сайтов;
  • Full accompaniment of the process of domain name protection from recording violations and sending a claim until the website is returned or the money is collected from the violator.

To receive extensive consultation on the protection of rights to domain names, order a call back on our website. Our lawyers get in touch with you as soon as possible.

Author is Dmitry Biryukov

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