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China-Based Domain Name Theft

Q1: How can we define “bad faith” domain name registration?


A1: For a domain name to be registered in “bad faith”, the registration must be made in accordance with the following conditions:


1) Domain names that intentionally contain a common typo, use the name of a prior registered trademark (whether inside or outside of China) or are similar to well-known trademarks;

2) The owner of the domain name has no prior legal right regarding a registered trademark;

3) Demand a benefit in “bad faith” after registering or using the domain name, that is:


·        the owner of the domain name attempts to transfer the domain name to the prior trademark right owner by sale, rent or other ways for payment;

·        for the purpose of reaping profits, relies on internet users entering the domain name or using other services online where a similar trademark and sign is used in conjunction with the domain name or trademark;

·        intentionally prevents the owner of the trademark to use their trademarks and signs in a domain name; or,

·        to register the domain name to damage another’s commercial reputation.


Q2: What shall we do if we are confronted with domain name theft?


A2: In China, domain name disputes may be resolved through the Uniform Domain Name Resolution Policy (“UDRP”), which was established by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (“ICANN”). ICAAN has a list of approved dispute resolution service providers.


Q3: What kind of responsibility should be undertaken by the infringed party?


A3: If ownership of the domain name was derived by utilizing unfair competition, the people’s court may order the owner and the user of the domain name to stop using it, cancel it or change the domain name. If damage was caused, the obligee is entitled to claim for compensation on the losses.



Q4: What should be considered when register domain name in China?


A4: If someone wants to buy or register a domain name, the followings should be considered:

1) know whether transfer of the domain name is convenient or not;

2) it is best to first register the domain name using the suffix “com” and to also include other important suffixes such as well as “cn, org, net”, etc;

3) before registering, check if the domain name is currently being used;

4) choose a reliable company to process registration;

5) be cautious of special offers in relation to domain name registration.

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