Ahlawat & Associates

Domain Names Law

Protection Of Domain Name And Related Disputes

Introduction to Domain Names Law

Any person, business, or organisation can have their unique identity online by registering their domain name. A domain name is the sole identity of a business operator online and helps navigate the company while building its virtual image in a global marketplace.


In the normal course of doing business, merchants and companies will use the name of their business or trade as their online identity or domain name. Domain names in India can be accessed from anywhere worldwide, regardless of where the person who registered it is physically located. As a result, it provides one’s online identity on a global scale.


The law of domain names in India is booming high than ever. Since the internet is becoming increasingly business-heavy, many companies choose domain names that are the same as their trademarks. Using the recognition that the domain name has already gained as a trademark, it will be easy to remember and draw visitors to the website.

Overview of the Legal Framework for Domain Names

As the world becomes more inclusive through online platforms, concerns regarding abusive domain name registrations, such as cybersquatting, have emerged. To handle such issues, ICANN and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) developed the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP).


The UDRP is a process for resolving disputes over the registration of  top-level domain names, including .com,.net,.org internationally whereas, the INDRP (.IN Domain Dispute Resolution Policy) regulates domain name disputes in India.


The INDRP was accepted by NIXI, a National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI), under Section 8 of the Companies Act of 2013. In case of a dispute, the .IN Registry designates an arbitrator for dispute resolution.


The remedies provided under the subject matter are being reviewed by INDRP since the power of the arbitrator is limited to seeking either the cancellation of the domain name registration or the transfer of the domain name registration to the Complainant.

Intellectual Property Considerations in Domain Name Registration

The law of domain names in India comes under the intellectual property umbrella and is subject to trademark protection. In any intellectual property portfolio, domain names constitute an essential component, signifying the importance of internet domain names law in India.


On the internet, a domain name serves the same purpose as a trademark does in the “real world”, to build its business identity and prevent trademark infringement and distinguish it from its commercial rivals.


If all the prerequisites necessary to obtain a trademark registration are met, domain names in India can be registered as trademarks at both national and international levels.


For the company’s goods and services to be identified as coming from a trustworthy internet source, the domain name must fulfil the requirements to be registered as a trademark. A domain name used as a trademark must be distinct from all other well-known trademarks and domain names on the internet so that it does not deceive or mislead customers of other businesses or violate morality or public order.


Therefore, to prevent improper use of the domain name once it has been chosen, the holder can file for trademark protection for the name. The burgeoning growth of the law of domain names in India today has made it possible to accord better protection to our corporate identity.

Our Approach to Domain Names Law

The Domain Name legal division at A&A holds exclusive expertise in the protection of domain names and related disputes, with internet domain names law being one of its core competence areas.


The firm offers high-quality, fast, low-cost domain law services, such as filing and registering. We assist our clients with the registration, prosecution, and enforcement processes.


Our firm is one of the leading IPR law firms in the country with extensive experience in domain name protection and trademark rights, determined to serve the best to our clients. Protection Of Domain Name And Related Disputes are among the foremost areas of our proficiency and competence.


We at A&A advice setting up a domain name-watching service once your domain name has been registered. This service notifies the user when third parties seek to register domain names that are confusingly similar to or reflect their registered trademarks to obstruct lawful business operations.

1. What is a Domain Name System or DNS?

The domain name system is a system that is responsible for assigning Internet Protocol (IP) addresses to domain names. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) enforces the rules and regulations that govern a domain name system internationally.

2. What law governs domain names in India?

In India, a domain name per se is not legally protected. Nevertheless, under the Trade Marks Act of 1999 and the Trade Marks Rules of 2002, any individual or company in India can get protection for a newly formed domain name. Domain Name Protection and Trademark Rights are, therefore, conjunctively intertwined together.

3. What are the benefits of registering a domain name as a trademark?

A registered domain name guards against unlawful usage by any organisation or individual besides improving a company’s ability to be reached from any location, no matter how far away.

Users worldwide can access the service or item using a domain name. Like a globally protected trademark, a well-protected domain name is advantageous for a company’s security and growth.

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