Global Journal of Politics and Law Research (GJPLR)

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Protection Criteria for Domain Names: A Comparative Analysis TRIPS Agreement and Supreme Court Decision


The TRIPS agreement has been created as the main tool to protect trademarks as part of intellectual property, while the domain names phenomenon appeared for the first time, and its character was not crystal-clear in four decades, and as a fact the TRIPS agreement has nothing to do with domain names protection. This article tries to prove that domain names can enjoy the TRIPS agreement by fitting the trip agreement criteria given to protect the trademark if the domain names fit the same criteria. Furthermore, if domain names could be characterized as a kind of trademark, then we can approve that TRIPS agreements correlate with this new phenomenon. On top of that, the authors depend on the latest court decision that supports the hypothesis of this article that domain names can be adopted as trademarks and can serve as digital trademarks in cyberspace. The TRIPS agreement was established many years ago before the domain names phenomenon invaded the cyberspace community; then, domain names were expected to have nothing to do with the TRIPS agreement’s protection.The domain names can be protected under the “TRIPS agreement “criteria, and thus, assume that domain names can be a kind of trademark. And because domain names work only in cyberspace, the authors suggest that domain names can be adopted as digital trademarks and can enjoy more protection under TRIPS agreements and traditional trademark law. The authors use an analytical approach to examine the TRIPS agreement criteria and find a correlation to domain name protection under the “TRIPS agreement “. Furthermore, the comparison approach will take place to see whether the domain names can meet the TRIPS agreement criteria to fit this protection.

Keywords: American supreme court, TRIPS agreement,, digital trademark., domain names, trademark

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