China -  Chinese law firm

How does Chinese law deal with so-called Cybersquatters, people who register trademarks of others as a domain name?

Within the last year China has seen a number of cases of Cybersquatting. People have registered trademarks as Chinese domain names with the "dot com dot cn" suffixes with the intent to sell this domain name to the trademark owner. Trademarks as domain names are valuable because they are easy to remember.

One of the first prominent cases was the dispute over Ikea alleged that the registrant registered this name in bad faith with the intent to sell this name to Ikea. The registrant was not very credible when he argued that he had chosen the name Ikea, because "I" stood for Internet, and "Kea" was the name of an Australian talking parrot that should symbolize communication. The registrant could also not explain why he at the same time registered a significant number of other prominent trademarks.

In the Ikea case, the decision was easy, because the registrant acted in bad faith. However, there are potentially a number of less clear-cut cases. It is possible that two trademarks for different goods greatly resemble each other or are even identical. In this case both trademark owners would have an interest in using the trademark "" domain name. Such a dispute would be more difficult to resolve.

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