€4,000 in compensation awarded in typosquatting case
Legal updates: case law analysis and intelligence
The Copenhagen Maritime and Commercial Court has rendered its decision in a typosquatting case involving the domain name 'wwwjubii.dk' (Case V-2/08, February 24 2009).
Jubii A/S is the owner of the trademark JUBII and runs the website attached to the domain name 'jubii.dk'. The website is multifunctional and includes search tools and a dating portal. According to Jubii, its website was the eighth most popular Danish site in 2007. The domain name 'wwwjubii.dk' was registered by Webdoxa.com in 2002, but Jubii did not learn of this until 2007. At that time, the website attached to the domain name 'wwwjubii.dk' automatically transferred users to a competing dating site after 10 seconds.
The Maritime and Commercial Court found that the domain name 'wwwjubii.dk' was confusingly similar to Jubii’s trademark and that the services rendered by the parties partially overlapped. The court ordered that Webdoxa:
- transfer the domain name 'wwwjubii.dk' to Jubii; and
- pay compensation of approximately €4,000 for trademark infringement, plus legal costs of approximately €3,000.
In Denmark, domain name disputes are usually brought before the Danish Complaints Board for Domain Names because:
- it is cheaper compared to judicial review;
- the time from filing to decision is shorter than for a court case; and
- the board has extensive experience and is generally considered to be effective and reliable.
However, the board may grant only a limited number of remedies. It may decide to:
- suspend, withdraw or transfer a domain name that has been registered and/or is being used unlawfully; or
- uphold, cancel, change or remit the registry's decision.
In other words, the board may not award compensation.
Compensation for trademark infringement is not available under the Danish Domain Names Act, but may be awarded under the Trademarks Act. If a trademark owner wishes to obtain compensation for cybersquatting or typosquatting under the Trademarks Act, it must use the court system. As the costs of a lawsuit often exceed the compensation awarded by the courts, trademark owners are advised to think carefully about the amount of compensation that they are likely to receive before bringing a domain name dispute before the courts.
Lisbet Andersen, Bech-Bruun, Copenhagen
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