Acta Univ. Agric. Silvic. Mendelianae Brun. 2013, 61, 1069-1076
Published online 2013-07-13

Trade name and trademark versus domain

Jarmila Pokorná, Eva Večerková

Department of Commercial Law, Masaryk University in Brno, Veveří 70, 611 80 Brno, Czech Republic

Internet domains have become an integral part of our lives, so one can easily understand that during their use, conflicts can arise, whose participants will search for rules enabling resolution of conflicts. Since the domain name is a replacement of the computer IP address, in the technical sense of the word, this does not concern for domain names a commercial name or brand, because it primarily does not belong to a person in the legal sense of the word and does not serve for its individualization. The average user regularly affiliates domain names with a person offering goods or services on the relevant Website. Domain names used by entrepreneurs in their business activity are often chosen so that the second-level domain (SLD) would use words that form the trade name of corporations formed of trading companies. This fact brings domain names close to such designations that serve the individualization of persons or products, especially the trademarks and the commercial name. Domains can come into conflict with the rights to designations, especially trademarks and commercial names. Court practice is resolving these conflicts using rules for unfair competition, or rules for protection of commercial names and trademarks, but it is not ruled out that in the future, special legal regulation of domain names could be established.


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