09Mar, 2021

Trademark – a key point in choosing a domain name

We have already mentioned trademarks several times in our previous blog posts about choosing a domain name, but now we will cover this topic in more details. The following rules mentioned in our article apply to .HU domain names.

Trade marks: are signs used in trade to identify products. Your trade mark is the symbol your customers use to pick you out. It distinguishes you from your competitors. You can protect and build upon your trade mark if you register it. The only condition imposed on a registered trade mark is that it must be clearly defined; otherwise neither you nor your competitors will be certain of what it covers.

Source: https://euipo.europa.eu/ohimportal/en/trade-mark-definition

First steps

When a company, individual or organization decides that they want to register a domain name, the first step is to look for the right Registrar, as the registration of .HU domain names in Hungary is only possible with Registrars and their resellers. There are several points to consider when choosing the right domain name, but one of the most important is to check whether the domain name we have chosen does not violate the rights of another company, individual or organization.

Why is this important? A well-thought-out choice can help you avoid future disputes. We must repeat that until the registration of a domain name costs a lot, subsequent legal transactions and disputes can become very expensive.

What can we do?

First, we need to investigate in different databases to see if our future domain name violates someone else’s trademark.

Recommended databases: Hungarian Intellectual Property Office, European Union Intellectual Property Office, WIPO database.

If everything is fine, you can register the domain name(s) with one of the Registrars. Once a domain name is registered, it doesn’t become protected yet, but if someone wants to protect their domain name, they can. In this case, we need to file a trademark application for the domain name and then submit it to the relevant office. The Hungarian Intellectual Property Office deals with the Hungarian trademarks, and the European Union Intellectual Property Office deals with the European trademarks.

Approval of .HU domain names

The .HU domain registration policy states that the domain name applicant is only responsible for choosing the domain name. The .HU Registry isn’t obliged to investigate the chosen names but is allowed to check the registration requirements and the right to use the name. If the Registry registers a domain name under which someone else is entitled to the trademark, the matter is often referred to the Consulting Board or a court, who may revoke the domain registration and these transactions may be costly for the applicant.

How can you complain?

In the case of temporarily used domain names, if you believe that a particular applicant violates the policy, you can complain to any Registrar within 8 days of the domain being advertised. In the case of delegated domain names, you must file a complaint with the Registration Decision Maker and also request the cancellation of the domain name from your current user, after which you can request the given domain name. If a procedure is started under the Hotline Decision Making Forum in which you are involved and don’t agree, you can then go to court.

What is the Hotline Decision Making Forum?

The Consulting Board and the Registration Decision Maker also operate within the structure of the Hotline Decision Making Forum, which provides a dispute resolution service independent of the Registrars and the Registry. The Registrar inquires that in such cases it complies with the Regulations, the separate substantive and procedural rules.

You can know more information about the Consulting Board and the Registration Decision Maker on the official website of .HU Registry.

Source: domain.hu