Better protection for trademarks online

The new E-commerce Law, which provides for the protection of trademarks used online, fair competition and consumers, has come into force. The use of a mark as a domain name or any online use of a trademark that confuses or misleads consumers as to the source of goods or services is considered an infringement and prohibited by the new law.

The E-commerce Law provides IP rights owners with remedies against the following activities:

  • domain name registration of an existing trademark by an unauthorized party;

  • domain name registration of a name that is confusingly similar to an existing trademark owned by a third party; and

  • domain name registration of another party's trademark in a top-level domain other than '.com' (eg, '.ir' or '').

The infringing party will be liable for criminal punishment ranging from one to three years' imprisonment and fines of between $2,500 and $12,500.

Mohammad Badamchi, HAMI Legal Services, Tehran

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