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Although domain names are intangible assets, they are not, strictly speaking, an intellectual property right giving the holder a property right that can be enforced against third parties. A domain name registration derives from a contractual relationship with the domain name registry. Domain names are available on a “first come, first served” basis.

However, it is common for domain names to contain registered or unregistered trademarks – and if these are used without the consent of the trade mark owner, the trademark owner can seek to rely on its normal trademark rights to obtain control of the domain name. There are also dispute resolution procedures available within the domain name registrar policies which are useful where a party feels that a domain name encompassing their business name or trade mark has been registered illegitimately by a third party. These procedures are sometimes a more cost effective way to seek to have a domain name cancelled or transferred.

Effect of Brexit on Domain Names:

At this stage no effect is anticipated.

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