Nowadays, in consequence of the progress made and innovations offered by the Internet, many commercial transactions, from electronic shopping of goods and services to advertisement, promotion, and information; from electronic bank procedures to taxation can be performed via the Internet in a speedy manner and “electronic commerce”, defined as the production, distribution, marketing, sale and shipping of goods and services electronically including B2B and B2C procedures or as transactions occurring over open networks, such as the Internet became widely used.
Via electronic commerce, potential consumers start to obtain information concerning specific products, new producers initiate to break into world markets, product ranges, the quality of the products started to increase, product costs start to be paid and deliver faster, cheaper products and products with higher quality initiate to break into the market, the competition between the producers start to increase and the cost of all the commercial procedures start to decrease.
Business enterprises, which realize the significance of electronic commerce and the advantages it provides, start to compete with each other in order to take their place in the virtual environment.
Internet technology makes domain names so valuable because Internet users, who wish to access a particular Internet host computer to obtain or exchange information (e.g. e-mail, computer programs, images, music) must know its unique site address in order to make a connection. In other words, just as the user intends to examine to purchase a mark or the goods and services offered under such mark, it is obliged to know the domain name of the trademark, and the mark owner is also obliged to have an internet address.
Currently, domain names have started to fulfill functions through the internet similar to trademark functions, like distinction, source designation, guarantee, and advertisement, due to the advantages expressed above. The use of marks is particularly relevant to the Internet because people tend to have no idea how to find a website besides taking a guess at the site’s URL. People usually guess the common name of something they are looking for which sometimes just happens to be the service’s or product’s mark.
On these accounts, enterprises aim at obtaining their trademarks as an internet domain name in order to strengthen trademark awareness as an extension of their institutional identities and to prevent consumers from being confused/misguided.
Although the global character of the Internet has not changed the existing legal system, it has made the simple regulatory issue more complex, a phenomenon which arises also (and is pushed further forward as a result of the opportunities offered by the Internet) in other areas like intellectual property, trademark, competition policy, the pharmaceutical market, air transport, etc. where global legal protection does not exist.
In this respect, consultation and/or representation services before the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center and other competent bodies regarding trademark/domain name-related disputes through Alternative Dispute Resolution already started to be crucially important. Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) and precedents within stated regulations also play an important role in the course of these disputes.
Not only domain name-related disputes but also other types of trademark infringement cases via the Internet such as the use of the trademark as a meta tag, linking and framing and other types of unfair trademark usages become significantly important issues for businesses and enterprises.
KIRCI Law Office (KIRCI Avukatlık Bürosu) renders services regarding domain name disputes from the representation of our clients before Intellectual Property Courts, Court of Cassation/Supreme Court in Turkey to the representation of our clients before WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center.
Please also contact us for other related unfair usages of trademarks and other assets via the Internet.