Trademarks in Cyberspace

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This topic contains 9 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Ankur 10 years, 8 months ago.

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  • #577

    rajiv
    Participant

    Hey folks….trademarks aspects in cyberspace assume great importance particularly in the field of domain names. Cybersquatting, typosquatting, gripe-sites et al are proving a tough nut to crack. The regulatory authorities are divided over who should control the Internet (as if cyberspace is their private property!). The potential of Internet is realized by the joint efforts of all the countries (including the US) and consequently, the Internet should be controlled by all the countries (preferably under an International Treaty ala the UN).Only then, can we hope to tackle the legal issues (like cybersquatting etc.) in the virtual world in an effective and comprehensive manner.What say you???

    #5932

    Ankur
    Participant

    You are right… Rajiv, Internet should be controlled in a better way… as currently it is kind of monopoly governance by ICANN, thats why few months they came up with proposal to increase cost of .COM domains ever year with 10%… 😮 the matter I think is pending with some authority !The international control of internet was recommended by UN advisory group WGIG (Working Group on Internet Governance) in its June report last year. They wanted to bring it under UN control. The bottom line of the WGIG report was that it is “unfair” that one nation (the U.S) should “control” such a global technology as the Internet.Let's see... when the Internet control is transferred either to UN or regulated in some different way.Cybersquatting remains the top most reported cyber crime in India, as most of the cases in CyberLaw relate to Domain Names only. And its good to see... affected parties coming up before the court with such matters... as otherwise most of the Cyber Crimes go unreported !

    #5933

    rajiv
    Participant

    True…Ankur! ICANN will keep coming up with such crazy ideas…But there is a good news. Amidst growing international pressure, the US is understood to have principally cede the Internet control... ;). However, the veracity of this report is suspect. Check out @ http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/07/27/ntia_icann_meeting/ and plz. come up with your inputs.An International Cyber Law Treaty with truly representative character is the need of the hour. In its absence, the Internet is fast turning into a haven for cyber criminals.Coming back to the trademarks aspects in cyberspace, I think instead of approaching the courts in India, a body like WIPO is the appropriate forum for any domain name dispute redressal. WIPO is an approved (by ICANN) body for handling domain name disputes. The courts and its officers in India are yet ill-equipped to handle cyber cases and moreover, the hassles involved in wastage of time, energy and resources in pursuing legal proceedings can easily put off a bona fide litigant.

    #5934

    madhurkohli
    Participant

    I agree with you both but differ with ankur in point that though courts may not be equipped with the mordern infrastuctre to deal with such cases still if you go through the releam of Domain Name cases then even supreme court has given a very good judgement in SIFY case.Plus there is also Cyber Appleate tribunal(CAT) which has been established pursuant to IT Act 2000, which is very much equipped with such infrastructure.Still the WIPO arbitation is one way out where most parties which have dispute with International Parties like to deal with because of its international jurisdictional value.Even pursuant to ICANN's Domain name dispute resolution policy. India also has come up with Indian Domian Name dispute resolution policy on same lines.

    #5935

    rajiv
    Participant

    You may be right, Madhur with your observations on Supreme Court's decisions but I was commenting on the general state of affairs in the Indian judicial system. Besides, I would like to know how many such tribunals are presently operational (not many, I am afraid!). This immediately puts logistic barrier in availing the judicial option in India.It's good that India has come out with its own Dispute Resolution Policy. Atleast, '.in' registry members should benefit from it. Again, ccTLD holders in India are negligible in contrast with '.com' TLD-holders.

    #5936

    Ankur
    Participant

    It's really a good news… that ICANN has decided to give up control, though it seems how it will be controlled is yet to be decided !And ofcourse, there is no denying the fact, ICANN's "Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy", under which WIPO decides cases provides international jurisdictional value. Many good decisions have been provided by WIPO also.. here's one decision involving SBI http://www.tribuneindia.com/2005/20050825/biz.htm#6Agreed that Indian courts have given good judgements in cases involving Domain Names, mostly because they are mostly related to Trade Mark violations... which is already a welll established field. And above all... there are not so many of technalities involved, as in other kind of Cyber Crimes or disputes.

    #5938

    rajiv
    Participant

    Agreed…cyber crimes would become so much easier to handle if we have a template to look up to. For instance, cybersquatting can be easily dealt with under Trademark Laws, mutatis mautandis.But there may be other instances of cyber crime that are essentially the blend of two or more illegalities. A fine example under the broader ambit of trademarks is the issue of 'gripe sites'. Briefly, gripe sites are an expression of hate towards towards a particular site. eg. a gripe site for yahoo.com would be yahoosucks.com. No doubt, the gripe sites invite Trademark Law. They also involve an element of crime (defamation, insult, annoyance etc.).For this reason, I think, the instances of gripe instances should be tackled at two levels. One is, of course, the usual trademark violation route and the other should be the prosecution under the relevant provisions of criminal laws of the country.Alternatively, we may have a consolidated Cyber Code (on the lines of Indian Penal Code) for all the prevalent cyber issues and the code may be amended form time-to-time to include newer issues as and when they surface. This would also save time and energies on amending other laws (as happened in case of IT Act, 2000).

    #5939

    Ankur
    Participant

    Ya right… Information Technology Act, 2000 need to be amended more frequently, but it doesn't seem possible !As the Amendments that were proposed in October last year are still pending. And this is the first time IT Act is going to be amended since 2000, i.e in six years :o... though Technology develops real fast !

    #5940

    rajiv
    Participant

    Only if we could change our legislators as fast as the technology…Even the proposed amendments in the IT Act are insufficient to tackle the ever-emerging legal isssues in cyberspace...The intellectual property aspects, for instance, are not adequately tackled either by the present Act or the proposed amendments... ::)There are host of other issues missing in the proposed amendments... :-

    #5942

    Ankur
    Participant

    Right... proposed amendments are inadequate to deal with present technology... let's discuss about the amendments under different heading !

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