Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

In this post we’re going to take a look at domain names and their relationship to trademarks, including the measures that domain name owners can take to tackle the problem of domain name hijacking. We’re therefore going to look at the following issues:

  1. What are trademarks?
  2. What are domain names?
  3. Is it possible to register a domain as a trademark?
  4. What is domain name hijacking?
  5. If registered, how does a company or individual tackle domain name hijacking?

What are trademarks?

A trademark is a simple way of communicating to the public the message that “I make or do this”. Under the Trade Mark Act 1994 a prima facie registrable trade mark is any sign which can be represented graphically and which is capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one undertaking from those of another.

An example of a trade mark is “TESCO” – this is a sign which is represented graphically and distinguishes the goods and services that TESCO sells from its competitors.

What are domain names?

Domain names are identification strings that define a realm of administrative autonomy, authority or control on the internet. Continuing from the above example, “Tesco.com” is an example of a domain name – it is a string (a finite sequence of symbols) which Tesco has control of, authority over, and exercises administrative autonomy within.

Is it possible to register a domain as a trademark?

To register a domain name as a trademark it is necessary to establish that the domain name functions as a trademark. The domain name must have trade mark significance to be registrable as a trade mark – for example “orange.com”.

What is domain name hijacking?

Domain name hijacking is the act of changing the registration of a domain name without the permission of its original registrant.

Domain hijacking is normally carried out illicitly – either by exploiting a security vulnerability in the domain name registration system or through deceiving the registrar (the domain name registrar) or the registree (the domain name owner). This is a form of identity theft. It differs from “domain sniping”, where the “sniper” registers a domain name whose registration has lapsed.

Domain name hijacking is normally carried out with the aim of diverting traffic from the “original” site to their own site. It can be particularly effective if the “original” brand is an established brand (such as, for example, Tesco).

If registered, how does a company prevent domain name hijacking?

Domain name hijacking is a criminal as well as a civil offence. It necessarily involves the illegal obtaining of the details of the domain name owner or hacking into the domain name registrar.

If the domain name owner (“the owner”) incurs losses as a result of the domain name hijacking then the owner may be able to pursue the hijacker for such losses. This may involve a claim for trade mark infringement, copyright infringement, or passing off, depending on the circumstances.

If you discover that your domain name has been hijacked and are incurring losses as a result it is important that you obtain specialist legal advice.

Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

Share →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

Our awards

Request a callback

Your name

Your email

Your telephone number

Contact us

Please feel free to discuss your own position and concerns. Contact your nearest office on:

T: 020 3397 3603
E: enquiries@redmans.co.uk
W: www.redmans.co.uk

Testimonials

4.76 Average

176 Reviews

Mohamed A

Super helpful and efficient, trustworthy service

Posted 2 days ago

Anonymous

efficient, responsive and effective

Posted 3 days ago

Andrew B

Very good service

Posted 3 days ago

Anonymous

Excellent service, compassionate and a good outcome

Posted 4 days ago

Anonymous

I had an employment issue which required legal advice. Chris was very supportive and knowledgeable, resulting in an optimum resolution in my favour. Would definitely recommend.

Posted 1 week ago

David M

Very professional and first-rate advice. I would use again. With thanks,

Posted 1 week ago

Anonymous

Got the job done swiftly without going too much in to detail.

Posted 1 week ago

Derek W

Redmans dealt with my case very efficiently and I was happy with the outcome.

Posted 1 week ago

Anonymous

Timely professional advice!

Posted 2 weeks ago

Anonymous

Very good service

Posted 2 weeks ago

Anonymous

I was in contact with Chris and then worked with Caroline on an employment matter. I was very pleased with the service and professionalism throughout, and came away with satisfied with the outcome. Would happily recommend.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Nikki

Received advice re employment law. Chris was very helpful and advised accordingly. Would happily recommend them and if ever I need help again, will not think twice before using them.

Posted 3 weeks ago

Samantha K

Absolutely brilliant thank you. Caroline Lewis is a legend

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

The legal advice was clear and helpful.

Posted 2 months ago

Davinder P

Good Service

Posted 2 months ago

Adrian V

I was using Redmans services for a Settlement Agreement. Very quick and professional service. The outcome was favourable and I was very pleased with the amendments and results. Pretty glad to recommend them for any type of legal advice.

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

Very responsive, efficient, clear and supportive. Thank you! Highly recommend.

Posted 2 months ago

Tiago S

Chris was always prompt to help me with legal matters that are beyond my comprehension and very helpful leasing with my former employer. I would recommend Redmans Solicitors to everyone who needs help.

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

Fast and professional advice tailored to what was needed. Thanks for your help Chris Hadrill and team.

Posted 2 months ago

Peter S

Really pleased with the outcome and the advice I had from Chris and Sacha.

Posted 2 months ago

Harika A

Redmans solicitor's helped me with my settlement agreement, Chris has been very helpful throughout the process.He was very prompt in his responses and made my settlement look simple.Special thanks to Caroline for her efficient communication, thorough explaination of contract terminology and negotiations.I highly reccommend Redmans solicitors for anyone seeking employment related legal help.

Posted 2 months ago