Domain Name Dispute Resolution
The firm offers its services for resolution of domain name disputes;
- a ‘domain name’ is defined as “a mark which is a user-friendly substitute for an internet address”.
- The operation, maintenance and technical administration of internet domain name space for Pakistan’s country-code top-level domain ‘.pk’ is undertaken by the Pakistan Network Information Centre (PKNIC)
- unauthorised use of a registered trademark as a domain name or part of a domain name constitutes trademark infringement.
- In this regard, the Trademarks Ordinance entitles the owner of a registered trademark to commence infringement action against a party that uses the registered trademark as its domain name (or part of its domain name) without authorisation, or obtains the domain name without the consent of the registered proprietor and does so with the intention of selling the domain name to another party (eg, the registered proprietor). Thus, a claimant with a domain name registration and a trademark registration will find itself in a much stronger position as compared with a claimant with a domain name registration only.
- Disputes over the right to use a particular domain name in Pakistan may be settled either through the usual legal channels (ie, the courts) or through the Domain Name Dispute Resolution Centre (DNDRC). The DNDRC is the sole provider of dispute resolution services for ‘.pk’ domain names in Pakistan. The dispute resolution process of the DNDRC is carried out in accordance with the PKNIC Internet Domain Registration Policy, the ICANN Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy and accompanying rules, and the DNDRC Supplemental Rules. DNDRC decisions are binding on the parties.
You are required to submit to a mandatory administrative proceeding in the event that a third party (a “complainant”) asserts to the applicable Provider, in compliance with the Rules of Procedure, that
(i) your domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights; and
(ii) you have no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and
(iii) your domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
In the administrative proceeding, the complainant must prove that each of these three elements are present.