The great majority of companies have their own Internet websites. Registration of domain names corresponding to these websites is neither complicated, nor expensive. However, what makes the lives of entrepreneurs difficult is the so-called Internet domain name piracy. How to protect oneself successfully?
Internet domain name piracy may have various forms. One of the most popular is the so-called "cybersquatting" – registration of a domain name including the name of an entrepreneur or his trademark. Another common form of piracy is "typosquatting", namely registration of a domain name with an intentionally made typing error, or with an additional prefix "e-". The intention of infringers is simple: attract Internet users to the websites offering competitive goods or services. Yet another form of piracy is "cyberwildcatting" – registration of a large number of domain names incorporating trademarks of third parties with the intention of selling them later to the rightful owners. One more example of piracy is "cybersmearing" - registration of a domain name including the company name of the rightful owner in combination with another word, ridiculing or discrediting the rightful owner in the Internet.
As it frequently happens in these situations, the entrepreneur is made a proposal "not to be rejected", namely to re-purchase the pirated domain name. However, the entrepreneur has certain legal measures to defend oneself against being blackmailed.
If the pirated domain name infringes the interests of the entrepreneur, he can use legal measures guaranteed by three acts: the Law on Industrial Property, the Act on Combating Unfair Competition and the Civil Code.
Apart from traditional court proceedings, another option for resolving disputes over Internet domain names is addressing them to the courts of arbitration. If the dispute concerns a domain name with the ".pl" or ".com.pl" extension, it is advisable to consider addressing the case to the Court of Arbitration for Resolving Internet Domain Name Disputes at the Polish Chamber of Informatics and Telecommunications. If an act of piracy concerns a ".eu" domain name, the entrepreneur is recommended to address the case to the Court of Arbitration in Prague. The advantage of these proceedings is such that the relevant decisions are issued by specialists in the field of Internet domain names. What is more, the proceedings are usually in electronic form, which precipitates the process of issuing decisions.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.