What is a domain name and how is it protected?
Surely everyone has at least a vague idea of what a domain name is and what it is used for. Technically, a domain name is a unique address that identifies, in a user-friendly form, specific content located on the Internet and provides users with information on how to find such content.
However, from a legal point of view, domain names are strange creatures. Unlike trademarks, patents, industrial designs and other intellectual or industrial property rights, there is no specific legal category that applies purely to domain names. As a result, existing legal categories need to be applied to domain names, namely those that best suit their nature.
Due to the absence of special regulation of domain names, these are often legally classified as obligations arising under a contract between domain name holders and individual registrars (registration agreements). Under such registration agreements, each holder has the right to use the domain name, while the registrar is obliged to provide access to the holder.
It follows from the above that subsequent transactions with domain names will be governed by the general rules of obligations and special provisions of the registration agreement. Therefore, any transfer or cancellation of a domain name will, in essence, be a transfer or cancellation of an obligation arising under the registration agreement.