Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co

UK 200 2013 position: 25

Abusive domain name registrations

By Michael Carter

Ahead of the release of a new wave of .uk domain names on 10 June 2014, we provide an overview of the potential developments for the UK internet registry Nominet in the coming year and also look at some of the highlight Nominet decisions relating to the abusive registration of .uk domain names in the last 12 months.

Domain names form an integral part of a brand identity. By the end of April 2014, 10.5 million .uk domain names were registered with the UK domain name registry, Nominet. This compares with just more than 3.2 million registered UK companies and around 400,000 UK trademarks in force.

Given the amount of registrations, and the fact that a vacant domain name can be registered without any examination, it is inevitable that some domain names take unfair advantage of a third party’s intellectual property rights. Such registrations are known as ‘abusive registrations’. Complaints about abusive registrations are commonly resolved by Nominet through its Dispute Resolution Service (DRS)…

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