Domain names

An internet primer: the Domain Name System

The Domain Name System (DNS) is a hierarchical, decentralised naming system for computers, services and other resources connected to the internet. It translates domain names (like yourfirm.com) to the numerical IP addresses needed for locating and identifying computer services and devices with the underlying network protocols (like 95.232.149.44). The DNS provides a worldwide, distributed directory […]

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Legal Web Watch July/August 2014

Legal Web Watch is a free monthly email service which complements the Internet Newsletter for Lawyers. To receive Legal Web Watch regularly sign up here.

This month: Dot rollout – hundreds of new domains hit the streets; Delia’s legal web picks.

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Managing domain names – top ten legal tips

Domain names are the basis of all websites and therefore much of ecommerce. Here are ten legal tips to keep in mind.

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Domain name disputes

In a typical domain dispute, there will be two entities involved both of which think that they should be entitled to a particular domain name. Often there is a conflict between Domain Rights and Trademark Rights. If one party has a particular domain name but another party owns trademark rights in that name, there is likely to be a problem. Such Domain Disputes can be resolved through the courts or the appropriate Domain Name Dispute procedure. Domain Name Law does not provide a simple answer for all such disputes such that the Domain Rights holder always defeats the trademark owner or vice versa but there are certain key factors in domain law that typically point towards the solution.

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A website as a marketing tool

Whilst many organisations are setting up multiple domain names and specialised websites to improve placement in the search engines, my firm, Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast, is deliberately going in the opposite direction and concentrating solely on the firm’s name as branding.

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Domaining is big business

There is a tendency to label anyone who is in the business of making money out of domain names a cybersquatter, and in the process to regard them as guilty of fast practice verging on the fraudulent. But is it appropriate to regard the growing body of entrepreneurs, known as “domainers”, whose livelihood turns on building up large portfolios of domain names, cybersquatters?. Although some domainers may well be cybersquatters, many of them are not cybersquatters in the sense in which the term is generally understood in the law.

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A brochure by another name

In the early 1990s law firms realised that they could now have an electronic brochure. Now they could get into some serious patronising at the same time as actually generating work. Firms rushed to put their brochure online and sat back and waited for the influx of new business – and nothing happened! This article relates how Dyer Burdett have used domain names to market the practice.

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Domain names – where we are now

Originally invented in 1983, the domain name system (DNS) has come a long way in the last quarter of a century. From humble beginnings as a loosely controlled system regulated by universities and dedicated individuals who maintained simple text files of the data relating to a domain space, the DNS has developed into a massive global addressing system on which the Internet depends to route web users and email to the right place at the right time.

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