Estonia Offers Better Domain Name Dispute Resolution Than Lithuania

Authors: Inga Lukauskiene, Associated Partner, Attorney-at-Law, Patent Attorney at METIDA, Kaie Puur, Patent Attorney

Internet1Disputes regarding domain names runs all around the world, because registration of domain name is performed automatically, without investigating whether domain name infringes any earlier right or lawful interest. Such dispute are solved in different ways: in one countries they are solved by out of court institutions in an administrative procedure, in others – by the courts. Even in such close countries like Lithuania and Estonia such disputes are solved differently.

The Domain Disputes Committee (DDC) is a specific independent body established in 2010 by the Estonian Internet Foundation. The aim of the DDC is to settle disputes pertaining to .ee domains and it operates under the aegis of the Estonian Internet Foundation.

Referral to the DDC does not preclude protection of rights in any other manner, including in judicial proceedings. However, the possibility in Estonia to dissolve such disputes out of court makes advantage in comparison for example situation in Lithuania where such disputes can be solved only by the civil court.

The Estonian Internet Foundation represents the Estonian Internet community and handles the management of Estonia’s top-level domain .ee and its sub-domains.

Upon registration of domain names, there may be situations where persons who are not bona fides justified with regard to the respective domain try to register domain names. Mostly, such activity concerns domain names that coincide with or are similar to well-known or registered trademarks or earlier business names.

According to the Rules of the DDC, the application is approved by a decision if the applicant proves that:

a) the domain name is identical or misleadingly similar to the prior right of the applicant;

and

b) the domain name had been registered without the registrant being entitled to having a legitimate interest in the domain name;

or

(c) the domain name has been registered or is being used in bad faith.

In 2013 the DDC made decisions on the following domains:

DDC Decision No 13-1a-292 of 18 December 2013:

DDC approved the application and as a result of that the domain name was handed over to the applicant StaffPoint OY. The application was based on the applicant`s earlier CTM registrations no 007158124 StaffPoint and 007163942 STAFFPOINT (fig).

DDC Decision No 13-1a-291 of 9 September 2013:

DDC approved the application, the domain was handed over to the applicant AB Electrolux. The application was based on the applicant`s earlier registered trademarks in Estonia: reg. no 06891 AEG, reg. no 0822564 AEG (fig)

Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 14.26.55

DDC Decision No 13-1a-290 of 15 May 2013

DDC rejected the application despite the applicant`s earlier business name AS MASS and registered trademark reg.no 35624 MASS (fig)

According to the decision it was not proved that domain had been registered or used in bad faith. Also the lack of registrant`s legitimate interest in the domain name was not proved.

Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 14.26.55

DDC Decision No 13-1a-289 of 14 March 2013

DDC approved the application, the domain was handed over to the applicant OÜ Jardin. The application was based on the earlier business name. The domain had been registered without the registrant`s right to it.

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