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Domain Names

Cybersquatting Laws In India

What Is a Domain Name?

A domain name is the user-friendly form of an
Internet Protocol (IP) address that points an Internet
users computer to the website the user wants to
Each IP address is a string of numbers
The domain name is made of characters that are
easier to remember
Example: is easier to remember than
its corresponding IP address,

Domain Name System (DNS)

Basically, DNS is a global addressing system
DNS allows users to go to a specific website by
entering its corresponding domain name
DNS locates and translates domain names into IP

Components of Domain Names

Second-level domain
Top-level domain

Components of Domain Names:

Top-Level Domains
Highest level in the DNS hierarchy
Generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs)
Examples: .com, .net, .org
Also, gTLDs for business or interest groups (e.g., .gov for the
government, etc.)
NEW gTLDs (e.g., .brand, .community, .geographical area)

Country-Code Top-Level Domains (ccTLDs)

Examples: .au for Australia, .mx for Mexico, .in for India

Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs)

Contain local language characters such as accents and may include
non-Latin scripts
Examples: (Hong Kong), (Russian Federation)

Components of Domain Names:

Second-Level Domains
Second-level domain names:
Follows www. and precedes the top-level domain
Chosen by registrant
Must be:
(1) unique term not previously used as a secondlevel domain name, and
(2) registered

Domain Name System

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers(ICANN)



.com, .org, .net


.us, .uk, .jp, .in





What is Cybersquatting?
Cybersquatting is the practice of registering an Internet
domain name that is likely to be wanted by another
person, business, or organization in the hope that it can
be sold to them for a profit.
It involves the registration of trademarks and trade
names as domain names by third parties, who do not
possess rights in such names.
Simply put, cybersquatters (or bad faith imitators)
register trade-marks, trade names, business names and
so on, belonging to third parties with the common motive
of trading on the reputation and goodwill of such third
parties by either confusing customers or potential

Laws in India
Unlike many developed countries, in India
we have no Domain Name Protection Law
and cyber squatting cases are decided
under Trade Mark Act, 1999.

Dispute Resolution
Dispute involving bad faith registrations are typically resolved using the Uniform Domain
Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) process developed by the ICANN. Under UDRP,
WIPO is the leading ICANN accredited domain name dispute resolution service provider
and was established as a vehicle for promoting the protection, dissemination, and the use
of intellectual property throughout the world. India is one of the 171 states of the world
which are members of WIPO.
A person may complain before the administration dispute resolution service providers
listed by ICANN under Rule 4 (a) that:
I. A domain name is "identical or confusingly similar to a trade mark or service mark" in
which the complainant has rights; and
II. The domain name owner/registrant has no right or legitimate interest in respect of the
domain name; and
III.A domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

Dispute Resolution
Rule 4 (b) has listed, by way of illustration, the following four circumstances as evidence of registration
and the use of a domain name in bad faith:

Circumstances indicating that the domain name owner/registrant has registered or acquired the domain
name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting or otherwise transferring the domain name
registration to the complainant who is the owner of the trade mark or service mark; or to a competitor
of that complainant for valuable consideration in excess of its documented out of pocket costs, directly
related to the domain name; or


The domain name owner/registrant has registered the domain name in order to prevent the owner of
the trade mark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name, provided that
it has engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or

III. The domain name owner/registrant has registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of
disrupting the business of a competitor; or
IV. By using the domain name, the domain name owner/registrant has intentionally attempted to attract,
for commercial gain internet users to its web site or other online location by creating a likely hood of
confusion with the complainants mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the
domain name owner/ registrant web site or location or of a product or service on its web site or location.

Dispute Resolution
India has also established its own registry by the name INRegistry
under the authority of National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI),
wherein the dispute related to the domain name are resolved under
the .IN Dispute Resolution Policy (INDRP). The Policy has been
formulated in line with internationally accepted guidelines, and with
the relevant provisions of the Indian Information Technology Act
Under InRegistry, disputes are resolved under .IN Domain Name
Dispute Resolution Policy (INDRP) and INDRP Rules of Procedure.
These rules describe how to file a complaint, fees, communications
and the procedure involved.

Role of Judiciary in India

Though domain names are not defined under any Indian law
or are covered under any special enactment, the Courts in
India has applied Trade Marks Act, 1999 to such cases.
Like in other cases under Trademarks Act, 1999 two kind of
reliefs are available:
1. Remedy of infringement
2. Remedy of passing of

Yahoo! Inc. v. Akash Arora and

Another [1999 II AD (Delhi)]
In which an attempt was made to use the domain name
<> for Internet related services as
against domain name i.e. <>, The Court
observed that usually the degree of the similarity of the
marks is vitally important and significant in an action for
passing of for in such a case there is every possibility
and likelihood of confusion and deception being caused.
When both the domain names are considered, it is crystal
clear that the two names being almost identical or similar
in nature, there is every possibility of an Internet user
being confused and deceived in believing that both the
domain names belong to one common source and
connection, although the two belongs to two diferent

Tata Sons Limited and Anr Vs Fashion ID Limited

(2005) 140 PLR 12 ( case)
The Hon'ble High Court of Delhi Court held that
"The use of the same or similar domain name may lead to a
diversion of users which could result from such users mistakenly
accessing one domain name instead of another. This may occur in
e-commerce with its rapid progress and instant (and the erotically
limitless) accessibility to users and potential customers and
particularly so in areas of specific overlap.
Ordinary consumers/users seeking to locate the functions
available under one domain name may be confused if they
accidentally arrived at a diferent but similar web site which ofers
no such services. Such users could well conclude that the first
domain name owner had mis-represented its goods or services
through its promotional activities and the first domain owner
would thereby lose their customer. It is apparent therefore that a
domain name may have all the characteristics of a trademark and

Aqua Minerals Limited Vs Mr Pramod Borse &

Anr; AIR2001Delhi 467 (Use of the Bisleri name)

The Hon'ble High Court of Dehi Court has held that

Unless and until a person has a credible Explanation
as to why did he choose a particular name for
registration as a domain name or for that purpose as
a trade name which was already in long and prior
existence and had established its goodwill and
reputation there is no other inference to be drawn
than that the said person wanted to trade in the
name of the trade name he had picked up for
registration or as a domain name because of its being
an established name with widespread reputation and
goodwill achieved at huge cost and expenses

SummaryUDRP vs. Indian Courts

Indian Courts




Lengthy proceedings

Quick proceedings


Majority of decisions in favor of complainant

Limited to India

Incorporated globally for certain domains

(e.g., .com)

Damages may be available

Damages are not available