Trademark Protection Of Domain Names In India

Published on 01 Jan 2020 by Shivi

The rise in eCommerce and digital marketing in India has led to a growing demand for an online presence for businesses. Businesses require a website to reach more customers and display their goods and services to compete in the international market. For this, businesses require a domain name for their website that represents the brand of the business and act as its online identity. However, one of the most confusing aspects of the domain name is its protection and its value for a business. With this guide, we answer your questions about Trademark protection of a domain name of a business in India.

What Is A Domain Name?

A domain name is simply the address of a website which acts as the identity of the website and helps website visitors in identifying it. For instance, the domain name of Legistify is www.legistify.com, which enables users to visit the website for their legal requirements. 

The domain name helps the people on the internet to distinguish between one website from another. Therefore, for a business, a domain name becomes the online identity for its goods or services. A good domain name attracts potential customers to the business’s website and develops into the goodwill of the business. A business, therefore, needs to protect its domain name and obtain a Trademark registration in India to protect it from copycats and competitors.

What Is A Trademark?

A Trademark is a mark used by the business to represent its goods and services, and can be in the form of a word, image, logo, symbol, slogan, phrase or design. The owner of a Trademark gets exclusive rights to use, sell, distribute or manufacture goods or services with the mark and to prohibit others from using it without license or permission.

Trademark registration can be obtained by the business to protect its brand identity under the Trademarks Act, 1999. A Trademark acts as a sign of trust and goodwill of the business and enables the customers to easily associate the goods or services with a particular brand. 

ALSO READ: Different Types Of Trademark In India

Trademark Protection Of Domain Names In India

Domain names can act as the Trademark of a business and a Trademark registration can be obtained for a domain name if it fulfils the essential conditions required for Trademark registration in India. 

Internationally, domain names can be registered and protected as Trademark by the ICANN  i.e. Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. In India, a business can register its domain name as a Trademark as per the provisions of the Trademarks Act, 1999.

A business can get Trademark registration done for its domain name if it fulfils the following conditions:

  1. The domain name is unique.

  2. The domain name has the capability of identifying and differentiating the goods and services of the business from others.

  3. The domain name is not offensive.

  4. The domain name does not violate any registered Trademark or a mark for which a Trademark registration application has been filed.

Once the domain name fulfils these conditions, an application can be filed by the domain name owner with the Trademark Registrar’s office along with the relevant documents.

Violation Of Domain Name Protection

After obtaining a Trademark for the domain name, it gets the same protection from any form of violation as the other forms of Trademarks. The domain name owner can take the following actions in case of Trademark violation of the domain name in India:

  1. In case of Trademark infringement: Any person violating a domain name which is registered as a valid and subsisting trademark under the Indian Trademark Law can be held liable for infringement of Trademark under Section 29 of the Act. For this, a Trademark infringement suit can be filed with the help of an IPR lawyer in India.

  2. In case of passing off: The domain name owner can file a passing off suit of the Trademark registration is pending with the Registrar and someone has violated the domain name.

Domain name Trademark protection is still a new and relatively new concept in India and it is important to consult a good Trademark lawyer in India for obtaining a Trademark registration for it. Call Legistify at 8468833013 or send us an email at [email protected] to talk to our Trademark experts near you.

Tags: Trademark 
Tags:
Trademark 

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