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A domain name is the part of a URL (the address through which a website is accessed e.g. myerson.co.uk) which is unique to a particular website. Each domain name must be unique so that no two are identical.

Resolving Domain Name Disputes

When the domain name server system was established, it was not predicted that domain names would have any value. However, as the internet became more commercial and widely used, companies began to realise the value of domain names and began suing each other for the right to use a particular domain name. Conflict arises when:

  • Someone deliberately registers a domain name which another party needs or would like and then seeks either to sell it to that party or use it in order to damage the other party (this is known as cybersquatting); or
  • Different parties have competing legitimate interests in the same domain name; or
  • Large companies have used their legal and financial resources to prevent legitimate domain name holders from registering valuable domain names.

The Relationship Between Trademarks and Domain Names

As a domain name is often used to identify the source of information on a website, in effect, a domain name can be used as a trade name or trademark. Therefore, domain names can be capable of being registered as trademarks.

Domain names may also infringe prior trademarks or common-law rights of others. This can be a particular problem for global domain names as they may potentially infringe trademarks which have local scope in a particular country.

Valuing a Domain Name

A domain name may be valued by reference to:

  • The cost of obtaining a domain name from a registrar;
  • The amount of income or other economic benefit the holder of the domain name receives from the use of the domain name; and/or
  • The amount of income or other economic benefit a third party could derive from a domain name.

Most domain names are not unique and therefore tend to be valued using the first of the three methods above.  However, any domain name linked to a trademark will be valuable to the holder of the trademark as will any generic domain names which allows someone to exploit the name commercially – in such a case, the last of three methods above will be used to value the domain name.

There are a number of specialist companies who can provide valuations for domain names. As the internet becomes more important, the value of domain names will only carry on increasing and there will be a rise in domain names being bought and sold.

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Our Approach & Our Experience

Dealing with domain name disputes can be technical and complicated and are dealt with by specialist Courts in England and Wales or by specialist organisations such as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICAAN).  At Myerson, we can provide you with swift advice in regards to your domain name dispute. 

Myerson are members of the Intellectual Property Lawyers Association (IPLA).  The IPLA is an association of approximately 66 law firms who have an established intellectual property department.  The fact we are a member of the IPLA demonstrates that we have extensive and detailed experience in the conduct of IP disputes in the UK.  One of the main objectives of the IPLA is to lobby for improvements to IP law and practice for the benefit of those who hold IP rights.

Myerson are a nationally recognised law firm with a large team of intellectual property solicitors.  Our intellectual property team is ranked by the prestigious Legal 500 law firm directory.  Therefore, you can be assured that you will receive the best quality advice and service offering.

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Our Promise & Core Values

Our Promise

The Myerson Promise - Our Partners, team of lawyers and support staff commit to giving our clients more.

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To always give you clear, jargon-free advice.
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To be completely transparent about our fees from the outset.
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Progress every matter in an efficient and timely matter.

Our Core Values

Our core values are at the centre of everything we do.

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We are always professional but ensure that we are friendly and approachable.
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We are determined and enthusiastic about supporting our clients and our people.
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We willingly take responsibility and can be relied on to be commercial, effective and efficient.

Meet Our Specialists

Home-grown or recruited from national, regional or City firms. Our specialists are experts in their fields and respected by their peers.

Jonathan Hassall

Jonathan Hassall

Jonathan is a Partner in our Commercial Litigation department

Carla Murray

Carla Murray

Carla is a Partner in our Corporate Commercial department

Vicky Biggs

Vicky Biggs

Vicky is a Senior Solicitor in our Commercial Litigation department

Philip Ball

Philip Ball

Philip is a Senior Solicitor in our Corporate Commercial department

Testimonials

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Book your consultation using the below enquiry form, alternatively, you can call us on

0161-941-4000