Outcome awaited in groundbreaking domain name case


The Danish Internet Forum's (DIFO) Complaints Panel, which was set up to consider disputes involving country-code top-level domain names, has been asked by the online legal services provider Retssal.dk to revoke the generic top-level domain name 'jura.dk', which was registered by Danish company E-Dimension ApS.

Retssal.dk argues that the registration of 'jura.dk' is contrary to the Danish Trademarks Act because 'jura' (meaning 'law') is a generic word, and generic words cannot be registered as trademarks because they lack distinctiveness. Even though 'jura.dk' is a domain name not a trademark, argues Retssal.dk, the same rule applies.

E-Dimension maintains that the domain name has been legally registered on the first-come, first-served basis established by DIFO. It also argues that the Complaints Panel cannot cancel that registration because the Trademarks Act does not apply.

The outcome of this case is of fundamental importance to Denmark's trademark and domain name systems, and is eagerly awaited.

Lasse A Søndergaard Christensen and Christian Halskov Sauer, Gorrissen Federspiel Kierkegaard, Aarhus

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