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TRADEMARK DOMAIN NAMES

A trademark is any mark used or proposed to be used by a person in relation to goods or services for the purpose of distinguishing that person's goods or services from those of another --- is either a word, phrase, symbol or design, or combination of words, phrases, symbols or designs, which identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods or services of one party from those of others and it is well known globally. A service mark, been considered as a trademark in this case except that it identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than a product.

In Democartic Republic of Congo trademark law recognises and protects the rights that persons acquire in trademarks, trade names or trading styles (referred as trademarks). These rights are protected by statute and also in terms of the common law.

Since the Internet has become such an important marketing tool, it is self-evident that the right of a proprietor to use a domain name, which is identical to or incorporates its trademark, is of the utmost importance for any business that the proprietor intends to conduct on the Internet. A domain name is a business asset. In the last few years, a vast number of disputes have arisen between parties which do not have any legal right to register or use specific domain names and the true trademark proprietors, which claim to be legally entitled to register and use the relevant domain names.

To understand the complexity of domain name disputes and other trademark disputes on the Internet and under CDNIC RPPG and CDNIC DRP, including the use of trademarks as metatags, it is necessary to explain briefly what a trademark is and how it can generally be protected against infringement by third parties.

Trademarks can, broadly speaking, be divided into registered trademarks and unregistered (or common law) trademarks. Registering a trademark is not mandatory, but trademark domain registration affords the proprietor strong statutory protection and remedies against infringement under CDNIC DRP.

To mitigate against disputes arising from Cybersquatting and registrations based on "bad faith", the Registry as from February 2015, introduced a requirement for a Letter of Authority for Trademarks that a Registrant will be required to submit.

In this view, the price of one Trademark domain name will be applicable as well as for Trademark domain with it's variants. (The Registry will under its discretion decide the fee) to charge for registering and renewal of such trademark under 1 domain name (e.g cocacola.cd) and variants of the same domain name (e.g samsung.cd, samsungs.cd, samsunggalaxy.cd, samsung-galaxy.cd, samsungtablet.cd, samsungphone.cd, etc.) maximum of 6 variants for 1 price registration or/and renewal.


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