Microsoft Wins a Trial Over Internet Domain

Created on Thursday, 19 December 2013 00:05

In October 2013 Microsoft corporation filed a lawsuit against Evgeny Bakharev, administrator of domain, requesting the stoppage of the illegal use of XBOX trademarks and a compensation of 500 thousand rubles. A notary surveillance certificate confirming the contents of a website hosted on the domain and a note from the registrar disclosing the identity of the administrator were attached to the lawsuit. The Claimant argued that the use of the trademarks (registered under numbers 251232, 229851 and 207755) by the Defendant in the domain name and on the website was not authorized in any way and therefore illegal.

In course of a single hearing on merits that took place on 9 December 2013, the Moscow Commercial court (judge Yulia Matyushenkova) decided the fact of trademark rights infringement to be duly proven and essential claims to be subject to satisfaction. Thus the Court passed a decision in favor of the Claimant, restoring his trademark rights, granting him the preferential right to apply for the domain administration and awarding a reduced compensation of 50 thousand rubles.

As the judge pointed out in the decision, the users of information resources usually choose the simplest and obvious domain names, the ones that are generally associated with a specific competitor or its activity. In this way domain names did long transform into a separate means of identification of goods and services, basically bearing the same functions as trademarks. Trademark or trade designation derived domain names also have their own commercial value.