German Court Sentences Cybersquatter To 22 months

A German court yesterday convicted a 27 year old man of trademark infringement. This was in connection with cybersquatting on 22 domain names. The court imposed a 22 month prison sentence, suspended to probation.
The Judge in the Munich court said the registration of and other names was in contravention of German trade mark laws.

Cybersquatting is the practice of registering a domain name. It is done in the knowledge that someone else will want it. The intention is to hold the company which wants it to ransom.

In Europe, there is no specific law against cybersquatting. However, cases can be brought before the European courts. This is done on the grounds of trademark infringement. In some countries, including the UK, the law of “passing off,” is prevalent. It means one business misrepresents itself as being connected with another.

Top level domains are subject to disputes. Domains such as .com, .org and .net, and a few country code domains are included. They can alternatively be brought before a panel of the World Intellectual Property Organisation in the case of cybersquatting.

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