The EUIPO wrong notion of Internet Domains

The European Union Intellectual Property Office published a chart to advocate the superiority of the trademark registration over the domain registration as a tool to protect a brand or a business name. But these information are legally incomplete and technically wrong.

Let’s see why.

First: comparing internet domains and trademarks is like comparing apple and oranges.

A domain is just a domain, i.e.: a field of a record belonging to a DNS and it is not equivalent to a trademark. This field can be filled by (almost) any alphanumeric sequences, including combinations that have a meaning in some specific language. But a domain, per se, IT IS NOT A TRADEMARK, the latter being, instead, a legal rather than a technical notion.


Secondly: domain doesn’t equals website.

As much as this may surprise a lot of “experts” out there, a domain can be used just for email, FTP (yest, that’s still working) etc. The Internet is not only HTTP.

Third, by securing a domain AND using it as a trademark, the holder acquires the pre-emptive use protection. A weaker one, compared to a full TM registration, nevertheless it is not precise to say that getting a domain doesn’t allow some proprietary right over the registered word (if entitled.)

Fourth, a trademark registration too can be challenged outside and in Court. A questionable trademark can always be challenged, and holding it doesn’t shield the registrant from legal quarrels.

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