Domain disputes

With the development of the Internet, domain names are becoming increasingly valuable. Doing business online and business processes in the virtual space will not surprise anyone. The digital world has become a separate competitive platform. Against the backdrop of high demand, market participants are emerging that use various methods of competition or outright fraud through domain name registration. 

Thus, a fully qualified domain name consists of the immediate domain name and then the level of the domain it belongs to, separated by a dot. For example, the fully qualified domain name is where sion-ip is the name and .com separated by a dot is the top-level domain. 

In order to understand how the rights to a domain can be violated, you first need to understand the domain zones (levels).

Domain types. Domain Levels

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has been registering generic domains through accredited registrars since 1998. 

So, there are domains of the upper (first), second, third, fourth levels. Sometimes levels are also called domain zones. Top level domains are .com .net. org .uk .us .club In addition, top-level domains are divided into groups: 

Second-level domains are what is separated by a dot from the top-level domain name. For example, .uk is a ccTLD created for the UK, and is a 2nd level domain registered for this zone. There are also 3rd and 4th level domains, but they are less in demand. 

Separately, I want to highlight the types of domains that are now actively gaining momentum for the rapidly developing crypto business and the Metaverse. These are .eth .crypto .bitcoin domains, and others. These domain zones are not subject to ICANN rules.

Domain names and trademark law

The direct name of the domain displays a specific word. For example –, where ipnft is a protected trademark. Trademarks are protected in each country separately. Now, understanding the domain zones, you can develop a brand registration strategy and, as a result, protect the domain name.  

Rights protection for generic domain names is developed by ICANN. The trademark laws of most countries also state that trademark protection extends to domain names.  

Thus, in the presence of a registered trademark, it is possible to deal with domains or clone sites that are registered in domain zones where TM is registered or has the advantage (for top-level domains) of registration in most countries.

Domain name disputes cases Domain name

Domain rights infringement cases have a number of peculiarities. Initiating such cases is possible only if there is a registration of a national or international trademark. The wider the geography of trademark protection, the more chances for domain name protection.

In order to find out information about the offender, you should contact the registry of any Whois domain registrar. After that, we prepare a claim in which we state all the arguments for violating the rights to the domain, attach evidence and send it to the violator’s email.

In the event that the violator continues to use the clone site and does not give up the clone domain, we apply to the WIPO Domain Dispute Chamber. Our lawyers have successful experience in resolving disputes with domain names. Each case is non-standard for us, therefore we approach the protection strategy in a professional and creative way, which leads to the desired result.

Crypto domain

Domain name protection for the Metaverse and the crypto world is completely different. For Ethereum, the registrar is; for .crypto .bitcoin domains, the other registrar is These registrars do not comply with ICANN rules. At the same time, it is possible to defend your rights to a particular crypto domain by declaring fraud or through special DAO communities that allow you to jointly control the legitimacy of using domain names. Blockchain domains are also used for NFT collections websites.

The presence of a registered trademark in this process is still a significant advantage in asserting the rights to a domain name and creates trust among users, for example, in a particular crypto exchange. 

The lawyers of our company were the first to gain experience in defending violations of rights to crypto domains in the Ethereum zone. After our claim, the violator returned the …eth domain to our client for 0.0001 ETH, although before our claim he tried to sell the domain on the OpenSea platform for 2.7 ETH. 
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