ADR & DN surveillance: defence strategies


Alessandra Ferreri

The exponential growth in the number of registered domain names poses problems for trademark owners worldwide, says Alessandra Ferreri.

Since the mid-1990s, we have witnessed an exponential growth in the registration of domain names coinciding with distinguishing signs (sign boards, corporate names, trademarks, trade names) owned by market operators.

We can safely say that there is currently no shop, firm or business entrepreneur that has not registered the domain name corresponding to its own most celebrated trademarks or the name of its products or its own business name, or even the generic name of the product being offered on the market.

It is sufficient to remember that, each month, for the .com suffix alone, an average of 668,000 domain names are registered; in 25 years, a full 78 million .com addresses have been registered. The increase in registrations has naturally led to an increase in the number of disputes over domain names and, in particular, in the conflicts that arise between domain names and other distinguishing signs.

ADR, domain names, cybersquatting, protection, WIPO