Fri, Aug. 25, 2006

Protecting Generic Domains

CK - Washington.   The Chain Hoist ruling confirming the protection of generic domain names in German law is now available.

On March 7, 2006, the Dresden appellate court had decided in the matter 14 U 2293/05 that a chain hoist maker may not demand that another party release the kettenzüge.de domain. It found no infringement under trademark law because the generic and descriptive term for chain hoists, Kettenzüge, does not qualify for a trademark.

In addition, the generic use of the domain name does not constitute a violation of competition law. The unavailability of the domain name to a chain host manufacturer operates merely as an indirect disadvantage on the plaintiff's business. Despite the circumstance that the domain owner offered to sell or lease the domain, the court found no cyber-squatting, domainrecht reports.


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