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Domain Names And Trademark

Anjali Shekhawat, Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law


Representation, our lives revolve around the idea of representation and we associate, indicate, connect ourselves with something so as to symbolize our surroundings. The idea of symbolism and representation is integral to human beings. This is why different businesses, brands, services, etc. use marks or words or pictures to identify themselves as distinguished from others. To protect the goodwill, efforts, reputation of such businesses drove us to produce the concept of trademark and many subsequent developments have been made. Commence of the digital era, and its consistently increasing importance has brought us to domain names. They are simply used by proprietors to represent their services and goods in the virtual world. A domain name can be said to be a user-friendly form of an Internet Protocol (IP) address. It represents and locates the particular website of a specific proprietor which a person wants to access. A domain name is made up of top-level domains (.com, .in, etc.) and secondary level domain (google, etc.) which is usually the name associated with trade or services of the proprietor. The top-level domains are of three different kinds generic TLDs (such as .job for human resources), Restricted TLDs (accessible to only limited people such as .Biz) and Country Code TLDs (assigned to different countries such as .in). The addresses to the Internet Web Servers are assigned and managed through the Domain Name System (DNS) and the globally distributed internet database is administered by ICANN. “While designed to serve the function of enabling users to locate computers in an easy manner, domain names have acquired a further significance as business identifiers and, as such, have come into conflict with the system of business identifiers that existed before the arrival of the Internet and that are protected by intellectual property rights”1.The protection of a domain is equally important as that of a trademark since, in the e-business world, a domain name distinguishes the proprietor.

The use of domain names is ramping up and consequently the domain name disputes. As we can see now there are many domain names and it is easy to find deceiving copies of them. To avoid the fraud played by deceitful proprietors it became crucial to identify domain names as trademarks and grant them protection.


Indian Journal of Law and Legal Research

Abbreviation: IJLLR

ISSN: 2582-8878


Accessibility: Open Access

License: Creative Commons 4.0

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​All research articles published in The Indian Journal of Law and Legal Research are fully open access. i.e. immediately freely available to read, download and share. Articles are published under the terms of a Creative Commons license which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the IJLLR or its members. The designations employed in this publication and the presentation of material therein do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the IJLLR.

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