Paseo de la Castellana,173,
28046 Madrid, España
91 571 70 73 91 571 70 73

Domain names

Domain name system is understood, in particular, as a worldwide address system, namely, the way in which domain names are located and translated into Internet Protocol addresses and vice versa.

Generic domain names (.com, .net, .org) are regulated by ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) which is the non-profit entity created to regulate the use of these domain names on the Internet .

ICANN accredits other entities or companies so they can register domain names.

The particular domain names of each country are regulated by specific entities from each nation. There is an entity in each country that regulates the requirements to acquire the specific domain of the same.

Domain Name Disputes

Although the purpose of a domain name is to facilitate the connection between users, they have become very important as commercial identifiers and, as such, they have sometimes come into conflict with the commercial identifiers that existed before the arrival of the Internet and that are subject to protection through intellectual property rights.

In the field of domain names, disputes are derived mainly from the problem of undue “cybersquatting”, that is, the early registration of trademarks as domain names made by third parties. The “cybersquatters” take advantage of the fact that domain names are being registered in strict order of application; they register brand names, personalities and companies although not having any relationship with them at all. Since the registration of names is relatively simple, “cybersquatters ” can register hundreds of those names as domain names. In their capacity as holders of these registrations, “cybersquatters ” usually auction the domain names or try to sell them directly to the company or to the person concerned, at a price well above its registration cost. They can also keep the record and take advantage of the popularity of the person or company with which that domain name is associated to attract customers to their own websites.

Disputes concerning the seven new gTLDs are also governed by the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (Uniform Policy). On the other hand, most of the administrators of those new registrations have formulated, or are formulating specific dispute resolution policies that may occur during the “initial” phase or the “startup” phase of the respective domain. Currently, WIPO deals with disputes that occur in the initial phase of the .info and .biz domains. As regards registrations restricted for certain purposes, special procedures will be provided in order to solve disputes to ensure compliance with the respective restrictions of such registration.