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May 27, 2010

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The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), an orginasation which worldwide manage the policy regarding everything that has something to do with intellectual property is about to introduce a new rule regarding domain name registrations. This new rule implies that registrants who use a computer program which is specially designed to automatically register domain names are guilty of bad faith registration. To make things clear, we’re talking about programs which, without human input, can automatically register domain names with the purpose of puttting ads on those names or to sell those names.

The new rule provokes lots of questions. The most important question is, how will WIPO be able to know and to decide whether a registrant used a computer program when he/she registered the domain name? Due to the new rule, lots of question rise about what is meant with ‘bad faith’. Up until now a bad faith domain name registration meant that the registrant knew he was infringing someone’s trademark while registering the domain name. Since we’re now talking about computer programs without human input, there isn’t any control at the moment of registration and therefore the registrant can’t know he/she is infringing someone’s trademark. According to others, the lack of control is the whole problem. Since the person who registers the domain name isn’t controlling whether he/she is infringing someone’s trademark, the registration automatically becomes a bad faith registration since the registrant is guilty of wilful negligence regarding the trademark right.

You can read the complete article and discussion about this new rule here.