Who can judge the internet?


Thomas George

As the Internet continues to grow in importance, it is vital to know what powers national courts have to assert jurisdiction over websites based in foreign countries. Thomas George looks at the situation in India.

E-commerce has changed the traditional ways of doing business. Today, many companies run their businesses across the globe without having to have an actual physical presence in a given country. The intangible nature of the Internet has resulted in the dissemination of information across borders, but it has also allowed the infringement and passing-off of trademarks by infringers who may not be located or have any physical presence within the state or the country where the infringing activities take place.

Internet users’ first interaction with any website is through a domain name, used as a gateway to the virtual presence of a retailer. Domain names have now come to be identified with the trademark or trade name of companies.

Since they lead every consumer on the Internet to the relevant owner, usurping a domain name leads to a tremendous amount of confusion for the consumer, and a loss of goodwill and potential business for the real trademark owner. The protection of trademarks on the Internet, especially for domain names, is imperative.

E-commerce, jurisdiction, domain names