Saturday, April 28, 2012

Domain Name Dispute Resolution In India

India has for long avoided enactment of laws pertaining to domain name protection. The truth is that domain name protection law in India needed to be enacted as soon as possible. Securing of domain name protection in India is presently undertaken under the Trade Marks Act, 1999.

However, the importance of domain name has increased tremendously especially after the ICANN’s new generic top level domain names (new GTLDs) registration has already begun. With new GTLDs domain names, goodwill and brands would be more closely related. There are good chances that domain name disputes would also increase in future.

Perry4Law and Perry4Law Techno Legal Base (PTLB) strongly recommend that Indian government must formulate a dedicated domain name protection law for India. We cannot drag this issue for by using parallel laws and judicial activism.

Further a domain name, new GTLDs and dispute resolution is not an easy task to manage. We need to develop techno legal expertise in India so that Indian can be a hub for resolving these disputes.

If we continue to redress domain name violations under the existing trademark law, it may be counter productive in the long run. Of course, we use alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanism like arbitration to resolve domain name disputes out of the court. Surprisingly, online dispute resolution (ODR) in India has still not been considered to resolve domain name disputes on large scale in India.

In particular, India must be ready to offer services for legal rights objections under ICANN's new GTLD program as legal issues of new GTLDs application, their registration and subsequent litigations would definitely surface. Legal rights objection assistance can also be taken by interested stakeholders.

The phase for independent objections and legal rights objections for ICANN’s new GTLDs would be open very soon. Presently, the application time for new GTLDs has been extended by ICANN due to a software flaw.

India is definitely not ready for these contemporary developments and it must start working in this direction as soon as possible. We must ensure that domain name dispute resolution services in India are world class in order to become a hub for domain name dispute resolution world over.