Navigating the Intersection: A Comparative Analysis of Domain Name Disputes and Trademarks in Intellectual Property – Insights from India and Beyond

  • Aastha Verma and Deergh Uppal
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  • Aastha Verma

    Student at CHRIST (Deemed to be University), Bangalore, India

  • Deergh Uppal

    Student at CHRIST (Deemed to be University), Bangalore, India

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Since the advent of the dot-com boom, there has been a profound surge in internet consumption, leading to a parallel rise in digital marketing. Analogous to traditional marketing, where each product carries distinct goodwill and serves as a means of source identification, the digital landscape has witnessed a translation of this concept onto domain names and websites. Recognizing the imperative role of trademark law in safeguarding this source identification function and preventing free-riding on the established goodwill of products, the authors of this paper advocate for the trade markability of domain names. The underlying premise posits that, in theory, there is no substantive difference between the protection afforded to physical products and their digital counterparts. Conducting a comparative analysis across various countries, the authors discern a lack of a uniform trend in legislating provisions against cyber-squatting and a dearth of a formalized registration process for domain names beyond the prevailing first-come, first-served principle. This regulatory vacuum creates a conducive environment for cyber squatters to exploit the system by pre-registering domain names and subsequently selling them at inflated prices. Employing a doctrinal research methodology, the authors offer insightful suggestions for statutory law enhancements and propose alternative dispute resolution mechanisms. These recommendations aim to streamline and fortify the domain name allocation process, fostering fairness and discouraging cybersquatting practices. In essence, the authors seek to bridge the existing gaps in legislation, ensuring a more equitable digital landscape for all stakeholders.


Research Paper


International Journal of Legal Science and Innovation, Volume 6, Issue 3, Page 337 - 346


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