Domain Name in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Merck Kgaa v Merck Sharp & Dohme Corporation and Others
    • Chancery Division (Patents Court)
    • 15 Jan 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 Mai 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 (Civil Division)
    • 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.

    Mr Wilson pointed to the fact that there are people called Sainsbury and Ladbroke and companies, other than Virgin Enterprises Ltd, who have as part of their name the word Virgin and also people or firms whose initials would be BT. He went on to submit that it followed that the domain names which the appellants had registered were not inherently deceptive. Thus, he submitted, there was no foundation for the injunctive relief in the actions brought by four of the respondents.

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Legislation
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Books & Journal Articles
  • Legal strategies in resolving domain name disputes
    • Núm. 103-5, July 2003
    • Industrial Management & Data Systems
    • 332-338
    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, January 2001
    • Financial Management (UK)
    • Brief Article
    ...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, June 2007
    • Online Information Review
    • 290-299
    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...
  • Searching locally: a comparison of Yehey! and Google
    • Núm. 33-3, June 2009
    • Online Information Review
    • 499-510
    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the Filipino search engine, Yehey! against what has become the industry standard, Google. Design/methodology/approach: A total of 14 queries were ...
    ...... returned from each were examined for dates created and modified, domain name, the presence of dead or advertising links, the quality of the site ......
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Law Firm Commentaries
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