Patent Law Office

Dr. Ernst-Peter Heilein

  • Intellectual Property
  • Gewerblicher Rechtsschutz
  • Propriété Intellectuelle

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Domain Names

The Internet is a worldwide network of data which is decentrally structured permitting the transfer of data from any computer being connected to the net to any other computer with access to the net. To this end a clear “address” has to be assigned to every computer being connected to the net. It has become into use to use certain literal abbreviations which again are divided in portions, so-called domains and subdomains. Thus, the domain “de” exists for the German area of use. These domains are also called “Top-Level-Domains”. On the left side of the Top-Level-Domain, separated from it by a period, there is the actual component of the name of the domain name. This actual component can bee freely chosen by the subscriber, as long as it has not yet been conferred.

The management and the distribution of the domain “de” is organized by the German Network Information Centre in Karlsruhe, called DENIC. In case a domain name has to be conferred, DENIC only examines if the desired address has already been conferred. Otherwise, the desired address is conferred without supplemental examination. This means that the address con not be conferred to anyone else in the area in which the DENIC is active. Besides, because every address in the Internet (i.e. domain name) can be conferred just once under a Top-Level-Domain often other legal positions (in particular older commercial names and/or trademark rights) decide to whom the rights of the domain name are due, a situation which is different in connection with the trademark law having resort to a classification.