Sun, Nov. 26, 2006

Germany to Control .Info

.   In the past, German courts applied German civil law relating to the protection of names proper, and competition and trademark law, to the .de domain. Thus, a city could insist on the domain city.de--an unfortunate departure from the well-established first come, first served principle.

On September 29, 2006, the federal Supreme Court in Karlsruhe swept .info domains into its jurisdiction. In the matter I ZR 201/03, the court barred the owner of the solingen.info domain from its use, finding an infringement of the city of Solingen's name under §12 of the civil code, Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch.

Fortunately, the court in a dictum distinguished the .de and .info top level domains from both other cTLDs and TLDs such as .biz and .pro which it believes not to cause confusion when used for names involving governmental communities, as the Bahr blog also notes. Berlin, MD seems to have lost out to Berlin, Germany which owns the berlin.info domain. But a few international struggles could arise as a result of this decision.


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