Domain Name in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Merck Kgaa v Merck Sharp & Dohme Corporation and Others
    • Chancery Division (Patents Court)
    • 15 Ene 2016,15 Ene 2016

    I therefore find and hold that Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp (which is the contractual counterparty) is in breach of the 1970 Agreement as indicated above. I will (as sought in paragraph 4 of the prayer for relief) declare that Merck US has breached its contractual obligations contained in the 1970 Agreement and the 1975 Protocol. The precise form of injunctive relief must be considered after this judgment is handed down.

  • Musical Fidelity Ltd v Vickers
    • Chancery Division
    • 08 May 2002

    For my part, I do not understand how he can assert that. The statement might perhaps have been true prior to June 2001 when Vickers Hi-fi was one of MF's authorised distributors. But it is plainly untrue now, and I do not follow how the contrary is arguable. In my judgment, any reader of that legend, having been led to the Vickers Hi-Fi web site via the domain name, would understand it as meaning nothing other than that Vickers Hi-Fi was and is one of MF's authorised distributors.

  • British Telecommunications Plc v One in A Million Ltd
    • Court of Appeal
    • 23 Jul 1998

    In my view there can be discerned from the cases a jurisdiction to grant injunctive relief where a defendant is equipped with or is intending to equip another with an instrument of fraud. Whether any name is an instrument of fraud will depend upon all the circumstances. A name which will, by reason of its similarity to the name of another, inherently lead to passing-off is such an instrument.

    It is accepted that the name Marks & Spencer denotes Marks & Spencer Plc and nobody else. Thus anybody seeing or hearing the name realises that what is being referred to is the business of Marks & Spencer Plc. It follows that registration by the appellants of a domain name including the name Marks & Spencer makes a false representation that they are associated or connected with Marks & Spencer Plc.

    Mr Wilson submitted that mere registration did not amount to passing-off. The placing on a register of a distinctive name such as marksandspencer makes a representation to persons who consult the register that the registrant is connected or associated with the name registered and thus the owner of the goodwill in the name.

    Mr Wilson also submitted that it was not right to conclude that there was any threat by the appellants to use or dispose of any domain name including the words Marks & Spencer. He submitted that the appellants, Mr Conway and Mr Nicholson, were two rather silly young men who hoped to make money from the likes of the respondents by selling domain names to them for as much as they could get.

  • Toth v Emirates
    • Chancery Division
    • 07 Mar 2012

    This argument only works for Mr Turner if the contract constituted by the DRS leaves it open to the court to grant a declaration. If it is a contract which leaves the question of abusive registration to the expert (and appeal panel) then the court must decline to grant a declaration, either as a matter of jurisdiction, or as a matter of discretion (it does not matter which). I have already held that that is the effect of the contract, so the declaration route is not open to Mr Toth.

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Books & Journal Articles
  • Legal strategies in resolving domain name disputes
    • Núm. 103-5, Julio 2003
    • Industrial Management & Data Systems
    Describes how the Internet revolution has created a wide range of legal issues, with one of the more contentious being domain name disputes. Stresses that it is important for trademark owners to kn...
  • Domain name management.
    • Núm. 2001, Enero 2001
    • Financial Management (UK)
    ...Website addresses are valuable business assets, yet 71 per cent of companies have never audited their domain names for balance sheet purposes and some fast-moving consumer goods companies own up to 40,000 domain names, according to NOP research. Doma......
  • Internationalized access to domain names: a review of methods and issues
    • Núm. 31-3, Junio 2007
    • Online Information Review
    Purpose: This article aims to understand the opportunities as well as the challenges posed by the methods for internationalized access to domain names. Design/methodology/approach: The paper first...
  • Domain registrars sued over URL patent.
    • Vol. 34 Núm. 2, Abril 2004
    • Database and Network Journal
    ...... specifically indicates that Network Solutions and Re& are infringing the patent by selling rights to URLs and e-mail addresses under the .name domain. The name domain is called a third-level domain, because it uses an extra dot, as in the case of Even though the database of ......
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Law Firm Commentaries
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