The Legal Status of Domain Names: A Business Context

Introduction : With the growing importance of the Internet – as a new place for doing business and as a place for companies to spread information about their businesses, to reach out to customers and to market and distinguish themselves from competitors – domain names have acquired an increasingly important role in today’s business society.


Domain names are still a relatively unknown occurrence and despite being a natural part in most people’s every-day life, there are few who reflect over their importance. The original function of domain names was merely to serve as technical addresses and to facilitate the locating of websites on the Internet. Today domain names are much more than this. In addition to the address function, domain names may also serve as indications of goods,services, businesses or information. The domain name is usually the first contact one gets with a website and it has become crucial for businesses to have their company name or trade marks registered as domain names. The issue of the legal status of domain names has mainly been discussed from an American point of view and in Sweden this discussion has almost entirely fallen under the radar.


1 Introduction
1.1 Background
1.2 Purpose
1.3 Method
1.4 Delimitations
1.5 Outline
2 The Development of Domain Names
2.1 Introduction
2.2 The Internet
2.2.1 International Development
2.2.2 Swedish Development
2.3 The Domain Name System
2.3.1 Definition
2.3.2 Domain Names
2.3.3 IANA and ICANN
2.4 Conclusions
3 Intellectual Property
3.1 Introduction
3.2 Conceptual Overview
3.2.1 Tangible and Intangible Objects
3.2.2 The Scope of Intellectual Property Protection
3.3 Classification of Intellectual Property
3.4 Justifications for Intellectual Property
3.5 Conclusions
4 The Interrelation of Trade Marks and Domain Names
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Trade Marks on the Internet
4.3 Domain Names as Unregistered Trade Marks
4.4 Domain Names as Trade Marks
4.5 Conclusions
5 Accounting and Taxation Aspects
5.1 Introduction
5.2 General
5.3 Intangible Assets for Accounting Purposes
5.3.1 Intangible Capital Assets in the Swedish Annual Accounts Act
5.3.2 IAS 38 – Intangible Assets
5.3.3 SIC 32 – Intangible Assets: Expenditures for Websites
5.4 ‘Similar rights’ for Tax Purposes
5.5 Conclusions
6 Domain Names in the EU
6.1 Introduction
6.2 The Management of Intellectual Property and Domain Names in the EU
6.3 The .eu TLD
6.4 Conclusions
7 The Legal Status of Domain Names in Sweden
7.1 Introduction
7.2 Domain Name Management
7.3 Legislation
7.4 The Position of .SE
7.4.1 Use of Terminology
7.4.2 The Exclusive Right to Use
7.4.3 Assignments
7.4.4 The Position of .SE according to the Senior Legal Counsel
7.5 Domain Names – Different Views
7.5.1 General
7.5.2 Domain Names – Technical Addresses
7.5.3 Domain Names – Trading Objects
7.5.4 Domain Names – Economically Valuable Assets
7.5.5 Domain Names – Contractual Rights
7.5.6 Domain Names – ‘Its Own Type of Property’
7.6 Conclusions
8 The Legal Status in Other Jurisdictions
8.1 Introduction
8.2 Germany
8.2.1 General
8.2.2 Legislation
8.2.3 Domain Names – Industrial Property
8.2.4 Conclusions
8.3 The United Kingdom
8.3.1 General
8.3.2 The Position of Nominet
8.3.3 Case Law
8.3.4 Conclusions
8.4 The United States
8.4.1 General
8.4.2 Case Law
8.4.3 Legislation
8.4.4 Conclusions
9 How Should Domain Names Be Legally Treated in Sweden?
9.1 Introduction
9.2 General
9.3 Can Intellectual Property Include Domain Names?
9.3.1 Intangible Property
9.3.2 The Trade Mark Function
9.4 The Importance and Value of Domain Names
9.5 Consequences of the Legal Status
9.5.1 Accounting Aspects
9.5.2 Property Law Aspects
9.6 Conclusions

Author: Davidsson, Louise,Thulin, Sara

Source: Jönköping University

Reference URL 1: Visit Now

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