The Ministry of Transport and Communications has begun preparing new legislation on the administration of domain names under the Finnish top-level domain '.fi'. The aim of the proposed reform is to extend and diversify the availability of Finnish domain names and to improve the function of the administration system.

The Telecommunications Administration Centre (TAC) carries out domain name administration under the top-level domain '.fi'. The administration of domain names is governed by two sets of regulations issued by TAC itself. These regulations allow for companies to be granted one domain name. Registered trade names, trademarks and other names have had strong protection against being adopted as domain names by anyone other than their registered proprietor. Even companies owning a registered trademark in Finland have experienced difficulties in obtaining their trademarks as domain names due to the (unwritten) single-domain name rule.

The legislation would introduce some welcome changes to the domain name administration system including suggestions that:

  • the practice of granting only one domain name per company would be abandoned;

  • trademarks and unregistered brand names would be eligible as domain names without need of compelling reason; and

  • foreign companies marketing in Finland should be eligible for '.fi' domain names.

The ministry has requested comments and submissions from interested parties on the need for reform and on the new proposals. A government bill introducing the new legislation is expected to be submitted to parliament by the end of the year.

For further information on this topic please contact Rainer Hilli at Roschier Holmberg, Attorneys Ltd by telephone (+358 9 228 551) or by fax (+358 9 664 303) or by e-mail ([email protected]).
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