Insights European Intellectual Property Office Observatory publishes Discussion Paper on Domain Names and their use in preventing IP infringement

EUIPO notes that the domain name system is indispensable to the functioning of the internet, with the number of domain names now exceeding 375 million globally. Domain names also play a central role in a number of IP-infringing online business models that have damaging effects on consumers, IP owners and the entire domain name ecosystem.

The Discussion Paper examines the good practices that undermine domain name abuse, and what the potential is for these to be extended or replicated. The Paper describes the life cycle of domain names and the respective roles of registrars and registries. It explores the good practices that some registrars and registries are developing at different stages of this life cycle, which can contribute to preventing the misuse of domain names in IP-infringing activities. Finally, it looks at the opportunities and challenges in extending or replicating each good practice identified, taking into account the fact that registrars and registries of all sizes have different economic and technical resources. The Paper therefore aims to contribute to discussions on ways to undermine the abuse of domain names in IP-infringing activities. To access the Discussion Paper, click here.