American Airlines wins significant squatting dispute
American Airlines recently recovered the domain names 'americanairlines.com.br' and 'aa.com.br' by serving out of court cease and desist orders on the Brazilian parties that had registered the company's trademarks as domain names.
This is significant because Brazil has not yet become a party to any existing dispute resolution treaties (eg, ICANN's Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy) in relation to its country-code top-level domain, nor has it established any legislative guidelines on what constitutes 'bad faith' registration of domain names.
This lack of legislation has not stopped Brazil's courts from taking the bull by the horns and ordering the transfer of domain names that the courts deem to have been registered unfairly. As shown in the Ayrton Senna Case, if it can be proved that the registrant of a domain name acted unfairly to restrict the rights of the legitimate trademark owner, the trademark owner has the right to reclaim the domain name.
Erica Aoki, Moreira Lima & Royster Advogados with Steel, Hector & Davis LLP, Sao Paulo
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