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Trademark Law and the Internet

Riya Gulati
Paralegal at Law offices of Caro Kinsella &
Youth Ambassador for One Campaign
Ireland

Volume II, Issue I, 2018

With the growth of internet, the trade mark law met with the issue of new type of trade mark infringement that are committed on the internet by way of ‘cyber- squatting’ or ‘domain grabbing’; key word advertising and the problems that the omnipresence of the internet poses to the principle of ‘territoriality’ of the trade mark law.[1] The trade marks are distinctive signs whose pivotal function is not only to identify the product but it also serves as an indication of the source for the consumers. The trade mark law protects the interest of the traders and the consumers’ altogether. It is generally seen in the sphere of E-commerce that unfair trading of trade mark usually takes place whereby the cyber- squatters who has no legitimate interests in the domain name and usually in bad faith, registers the domain name which is identical or somewhat similar to the trade mark of the proprietor,[2] for example, where some unrelated party registered www. penneys.ie. Hence, the online consumers have no assurance as regards to the reliability to the source from which they are buying and what actually they are purchasing except for the domain name.[3] The problem of cyber- squatting arose in late nineties in which the traditional trade mark action involved the use of the trade mark in the course of the trade.

 

[1] Jeremy Philips & IIanah Simon, Trade Mark Use (Oxford University Press 2005) 263

[2]James Plotkin, ‘The Model for a path forward. A proposal for a model law dealing with cyber- squatting and other abusive domain name practices’ [2015] 27 Denning Law Journal accessed 1 January 2015

[3] Jessica Sganga, ‘Trademark owner’s strategy: Litigation v the UDRP’ [2013] 13 Pepperdine Dispute Resolution Law Journal accessed 2013 (301)

 

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