Typosquatting within the reach of Trademark Act and Marketing Practices Act
Two decisions issued by Danish Internet Forum (DIFO) panels against web-hosting company Reach.dk ApS indicate that typosquatting within the '.dk' country-code top-level domain has the potential to contravene both the Danish Trademark Act and Marketing Practices Act.
Reach.dk has registered more than 400 domain names. In many cases the domain names consist of the letters 'www' followed by a well-known company name or trademark. A number of companies have taken issue with Reach.dk's alleged typosquatting including financial service providers Nykredit A/S and BRFkredit A/S. Both companies filed complaints against Reach.dk.
In Nykredit A/S v Reach.dk ApS, Nykredit requested the transfer of 'wwwnykredit.dk', 'www-nykredit.dk', 'nukkredit.dk', 'wwwnybolig.dk' and 'www-nybolig.dk' from Reach.dk. The website hosted at these domain names at first featured an advertisement for office services and then a statement from Reach.dk claiming that it did not intend to engage in infringing activities but was instead trying to attract marginal internet traffic. Nykredit claimed that the domain names infringed its well-known trademarks NYKREDIT and NYBOLIG.
The panel agreed with Nykredit and ordered the transfer of the domain names. It stated that 'wwwnykredit.dk', 'www-nykredit.dk', 'wwwnybolig.dk' and 'www-nybolig.dk' took unfair advantage of the repute of Nykredit's well-known marks. The panel held that there was no evidence of trademark infringement with regard to 'nukkredit.dk' as it was not considered to be confusingly similar to the NYKREDIT mark. However, the panel ordered the transfer of the domain name on the grounds that the registration contravened good marketing practices because it appeared to have been registered with the aim of diverting internet users away from Nykredit's website. The panel noted that the 'u' key is placed directly next to the 'y' key on a standard keyboard and that typing 'kk' instead of 'k' is a common mistake.
In BRFkredit A/S v Reach.dk ApS, BRFkredit filed a complaint against Reach.dk requesting the transfer of 'wwwbrf.dk', 'wwwbrfkredit.dk', 'www-brf.dk' and 'www-brfkredit.dk'. The panel held that the domain names were registered with the aim of diverting internet users away from BRFkredit's website in contravention of both the Trademark Act and Marketing Practices Act. Thus, the panel ordered the transfer of all four domain names to BRFkredit.
Lisbet Andersen, Bech-Bruun Dragsted, Copenhagen
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