HC Deb 17 December 1998 vol 322 c709W
Mr. Cotter

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps he has taken to prevent companies trading fraudulently on the Internet by using as a domain name the registered name or trademark of another company. [63414]

Dr. Howells

[holding answer 14 December 1998]: The Trade Marks Act 1994 contains provisions to protect against the fraudulent use of a registered trade mark. The common law tort of passing-off protects against false representation, where a company attempts to take unfair advantage or their action is detrimental to reputation of another.

These provisions can be applied to fraudulent use of domain names. In a recent case (British Telecommunications Plc et al. v. One in a Million & others), both the High Court and the Court of Appeal said that the registration of trade marks as domain names was unfair and detrimental to the reputation of the trade mark owner and such registrations were also an infringement of the trade mark owner's rights.

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