Reverse Domain Name Hijacking

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Reverse domain name grabbing occurs when a trade mark holder uses its trade mark to `lever’ a domain name off of a rightful holder. A good example of this are the facts of Prince v Prince Sports Group Inc.[1] In 1995 the plaintiff, Prince plc, had acquired the domain name The defendant attempted to lever the domain name off the plaintiff by issuing a letter of demand requesting that the domain name be transferred to them. If this did not occur action based on a trademark they held in the United Kingdom would proceed. The court held that this demand was a groundless threat and enjoined the defendant from pursuing such behaviour. Damages could have been awarded but were not due to the lack of evidence adduced by the plaintiff on this point. Consequently, reverse domain name grabbing if based on the misuse of a trademark right is fraught with danger in Australia or the United Kingdom. However, groundless threats are permissible in the United States of America.[2]

[1] Prince Plc. v Prince Sports Group Inc.[1998] FSR 21

[2] Fitzgerald, Brian, Gamertsfelder, Leif, Gulliksen, Tonje Roste  “Marketing your website: legal issues relating to the allocation of Internet domain names” [1998] UNSWLJ  p. 61

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1 Comment

Filed under Domain Names Law, Intellectual Property Law, Trade Marks Law

One response to “Reverse Domain Name Hijacking

  1. Wow, this piece of writing is pleasant, my sister is analyzing such things,
    soo I am going to inform her.


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