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Techno-Legal Interplay of Domain Names: A Study with Reference to India

Authors: M. Tariq Banday, Farooq A. Mir

Abstract:

Internet has unfolded its potential and its users are now quite convinced that it is a cost effective, flexible, efficient and viable option to carry out different business activities disregard of any physical or geographical boundaries. These intrinsic properties of Internet have raised innumerable legal issues that are difficult to resolve within the boundaries of existing legal régime which has a different scheme of things. Internet has impacted most of the branches of law more particularly Intellectual property jurisprudence which has engendered many IP issues including interplay of trademark and domain names. There is neither any separate legislation nor any express provision in the existing Trademark Act, 1999, which is relatively recent in origin and enacted at the time when theses issued had seized the attention of the courts in other jurisdictions. A host of legal issues cropped by the intersection of trademark and domain names which have been left for the courts to decide. The courts in India have seized this opportunity and have laid down a number of principles. This paper appraises approaches adopted by Indian courts in resolving domain name disputes and compares them with theories evolved and established in other jurisdictions.

Keywords: Trademarks, DNS, Domain Name, Passing off and Judicial Approach

Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1091116

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