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Many domain name holders are intimidated by the question of how to protect a domain name. And this is not surprising since from a legal point of view it is quite a complicated issue. We have prepared a material covering key aspects of domains and their legal protection.

The essence of the dispute

A domain name for an online business is a critical intangible asset. It is mentioned in advertising, used in corporate email addresses. As a result, in consumers’ minds, the web address is strongly associated with a particular brand. Therefore, securing domain name rights is the only way to secure a strong legal position in probable domain disputes.

The reason for such disputes is usually the fact that the registration of a domain name does not give its owner the exclusive rights to the combination of letters, numbers, and signs that form it. Simply put, a domain name is not protected intellectual property. This gives third parties the chance to challenge its affiliation with a particular company.

A typical domain dispute involves two companies, and each of them tries to protect the right to own the domain. Disputes over domain rights and trademark protection are also quite common.

You can protect yourself from encroachment and copying if you get exclusive rights to the word that makes up the domain - that is, register it as a trademark.

The main problems arise when one party uses a specific domain name and the other party owns the trademark rights of that domain. Such disputes are resolved through litigation or an out-of-court unified domain name dispute resolution policy. The Law on Domain Names does not provide a specific answer as to who has the advantage in such cases. However, there are certain factors in domain law that will help restore domain name rights.

How to return a stolen domain

From a legal point of view, domain name theft is one of the simplest scenarios for domain disputes. If you find that someone is using your domain name in the absence of any rights, while violating the rights of the owner, it is easy to return the stolen domain. You just need to contact the ISPs and confirm your ownership of the domain.

When you have a question about what to do if the domain is stolen, contact the experts immediately. The truth is on your side.

Domain name transfer

The issue of domain transfer is much more complicated. Here, without the help of experienced legal assistance in the field of intellectual property can not do. In this case, a dispute arises as to whether a party has exceeded its "authority" by registering a domain name that is associated with a trademark or product name of one of its competitors.

Who might need your domain name

There are several categories of potential invaders who can  encroach on your domain:

  • Professionals who make money on transactions with domain names - cybersquatters, typosquatters and others. They can register identical to your domains in new domain zones, or similar addresses - in your native zone. The common motive is to resell the domain to you or someone else who needs it, at a higher price, while earning on branded traffic by placing affiliate links.
  • Contractors and former partners who, by coincidence, have registered the domain for themselves. At some point, you parted, and now you can only return the domain rights through the courts, and only if you have real legal rights to such an operation (trademark).

Learn more about how to get a stolen domain name back from experienced IQ Decision UK professionals. Our experts will provide you with comprehensive legal advice in challenging domain rights.