Victory! Domains Stripped Out of EU “Trademark Package”

Back in January ICA joined with four other trade association in cosigning a letter communicating our joint concerns regarding a “trademark package” being considered by the Council of the European Union. Adoption of the language under consideration could have led to adverse judicial actions being brought against domain registrants of all types by aggressive trademark owners. In particular, the signatories objected to the wording of the Proposal that would have resulted in the addition of “domain names” to the enumerated prohibited uses, for which the proprietor of a registered trade mark has an exclusive right to impose on third parties.  All the signing groups believed that this would have been redundant of Community Trade Mark rights as they already apply to domain names. The also shared concerns that this addition would have generated confusion among judges inexperienced in Internet technology, and predisposed EU member courts to find infringement in cases of legitimate uses of domain names.

We are delighted to report that Jakob Kucharczyk, Director and General Manager of CCIA Europe, has informed us that the letter had its intended effect.  Domain names have been dropped from the scope of substantive trademark protections and will not be included in the final package.

Mr. Kucharcyzk’s email to those who had cosigned the letter of concern concluded with the declaration, “This is a huge win for us and I would like to thank you one more time for your support!” We at ICA in turn thank CCIA Europe for bringing this issue to our attention and are happy to have contributed to halting unnecessary new law that could have created substantial problems for domain registrants residing in the EU.

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