Domain name conflicts

The Internet's introduction, boom and speed of development has resulted in many conflicts and abuses, including the registration of domain names featuring the unauthorised use of a trademark owned by a third party.

This procedure, which consists of registering, operating or using trademarks as domain names without authorisation and for profit, is known as cybersquatting.

Argentina has not yet issued a substantive ruling referring to disputes between domain names and trademarks. Until 2009, the interested parties in a conflict concerning domain names and trademarks had to seek remedy through the courts due to the non-existence of an alternative dispute resolution system.

Resolution 654/2009

The first system for domain name dispute resolution in Argentina was established in November 2009 through Resolution 654/2009, which incorporated the service rendered by NIC Argentina, the institution that manages internet domain names in Argentina. Any party whose rights are being violated by the registration of a domain name can file an administrative claim to revoke the domain name in question. The system has undergone modifications since it was enacted, but none of the amendments have been substantial and it still preserves its basic characteristics.

Resolution 20/2014

Resolution 20/2014 was issued on February 27 2014 by the National Presidency Legal and Technical Secretariat in an attempt to reduce the number of cases concerning domain names and cybersquatting. Before Resolution 20/2014 was approved, the system for domain name registration had been free and an essentially automatic procedure, and consequently, a significant number of applications were made concerning slavish copies of third-party trademarks, names or designations and pirate registrations which aimed to appropriate and capitalise on the prestige and effort of another party by creating confusion.

Resolution 110/2016

Resolution 110/2016, issued by the National Presidency Legal and Technical Secretariat, was published in the Official Gazette on July 20 2016. It abrogated Resolution 20/2014 and introduced the Regulation on Management of Internet Domain Names. The updated resolution introduced a number of changes to the domain name ownership dispute resolution procedure. For example, any party that considers itself to have a better right or legitimate interest in the ownership of a domain name may submit a claim through the Tramites a Distancia (TAD) platform (ie, a remotely conducted administrative procedure).

The resolution also establishes that once the dispute requirements have been met, the owner or representative of the disputed domain will be duly notified through the TAD platform, after which it will have 10 working days to file a response. Once the response has been filed, NIC Argentina will resolve the matter following the intervention of the competent parties.

For further information on this topic please contact Daniel R Zuccherino at Obligado & Cia by telephone (+54 11 4114 1100) or email (dzuccherino@obligado.com.ar). The Obligado & Cia website can be accessed at www.obligado.com.

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