The PBL Key 5 for Protecting your Domain Name

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The PBL Key 5 of protecting your domain name:

It is common knowledge that registering a domain name with one of the IT providers? does not necessarily create any intellectual property rights. However taking the next step and having the name registered as a trade mark or part of a mark can give much greater protection. In addition it may be possible to seek redress against a “cybersquatter” either via the traditional method of going to court or alternatively looking at using the dispute resolution procedure available through the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

In a recent case involving two real estate agents,one agent was successful in seeking redress on the basis that the other agent, who had ownership of the domain name realestate1.com.au, infringed its trade mark which incorporated the domain name realestate.com.au (REA Group Ltd v Real Estate 1 Ltd [2013] FCA 559.)

Certain principles arise from a consideration of the use and ownership of domain names following this case:

  1. Always consider going the next step by making application to register the domain name as or part of a trade mark to ensure you can seek redress under the Trade Marks Act 1995.
  2. You will only be able to seek redress for trade mark infringement if an offending domain name relates to similar goods and services as your domain name.
  3. The test is whether the other party is using as a trade mark a domain name which is substantially identical or deceptively similar to your mark (subject to any available defences).
  4. It may be possible to seek redress against the other party for misleading and deceptive conduct under the Competition and Consumer Act in circumstances where there is clear proof of a course of conduct by the other party particularly where no website is involved.
  5. Obtaining redress against another party may be by way of litigation where you can seek orders for injunction to prevent further infringement, damages, passing off or an account of profits. However as an alternative, consider bringing an action under the Uniform Domain Name Depute Resolution Policy through WIPO if you only wish to have another domain name transferred to you to prevent further infringement. It is both a cheaper and quicker alternative.

If you are interested in pursuing your rights in this area you may wish to contact us on 4305 3500.

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Authored by

Raea Khan

Director Lawyer

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Raea Khan Circle
Director Lawyer
Raea Khan

Raea is Managing Director and Principal Lawyer for PBl Law Group. Raea assists clients with major projects, property developments, construction and strata law.

He has worked in Western Australia and Queensland assisting with expansion projects in the energy and resource sector and now predominately advises clients in Strata and Community Association matters.

He is a member of the Australian College of Strata Lawyers where majority of his work is advising developers and owners corporations with dispute related minor and major defects, strata governance and common property litigation. He is proficient at leading negotiations and meetings.

Raea has a particular interest in the commercial aspect of any dispute and always tries to weigh up the risk, reward and benefit of legal proceedings at each different stage.

Raea enjoys all forms of competitive sport, including Crossfit and actively participates in Triathlons, representing Australia as an age group athlete. He was a member of Red Head Surf Lifesaving club.

  • Strata Law
  • Construction & Major Projects
  • Commercial and Business Law
  • Planning & Environment Law