May 27, 2021

AdultBlock Expanding Eligible Trade Marks

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MMX Registry has announced that starting 11 May 2021 the AdultBlock and AdultBlock+ services are expanding to include trade marks previously not eligible.

Currently the only trade marks that are eligible are 1) trade marks that were blocked during the .xxx Sunrise B and 2) trade marks that are registered with the TMCH and have an SMD File.

In addition to the trade marks currently eligible to participate, starting 11 May 2021 the following trade marks will also be accepted: 1) unregistered trade marks; 2) registered trade marks not previously in the .xxx Sunrise B program and/or 3) registered trademarks that do not have an SMD File because the mark is not registered with the TMCH.

MMX Registry is working with a third party that will verify that these new trade marks are valid and qualify for an AdultBlock. 

Should you have any questions, please contact your Account Manager or email support@lexsynergy.com.

 

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May 20, 2021

Protecting Domains in West Africa

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OAPI Domains

In West Africa, there are 17 different nations where it is not possible to register a national trade mark.

OAPI Map

The only option to gain trade mark protection, in those countries, is to file a trade mark with the Organisation Africaine de la Propriété Intellectuelle or (OAPI) and the local domain name is no easy feat - because each country has its own unique rules and regulations.

This makes registration time-consuming and complicated, however if a trade mark warrants protection within OAPI, acquiring the local domain name is definitely worth it.

Due to the limited domain recovery options in this region, it is recommended that a strategic defensive registration policy be adopted. If a local presence is an obstacle, we would recommend registering on the domain extensions where a local presence is not required.

Country

Extension

Restriction

Benin.bjNone
Burkina Faso.bfLocal presence or trade mark required
Cameroon.cmNone
Central African Republic.cfNone
Chad.tdNone
Comoros.kmLocal presence or trade mark required
Congo.cgNone
Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast).ciNone
Equatorial Guinea.gqNone
Gabon.gaNone
Guineacom.gnLocal presence demonstrating intention to use
Guinea-Bissau.gwNone
Mali.mlNone
Mauritania.mrNone
Niger.neLocal presence required
Senegal.snNone
Togo.tgNone

We are aware that our clients are looking for a regional solution so we have packaged all the domain extensions listed above into one bulk offering to ensure that your OAPI trademark is secured within that region’s domain name space.

Please reach out to us for costing on the OAPI domain name package.

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May 20, 2021

CN (China) Domain Complaints

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China has modelled its domain dispute resolution procedure (cnDRP) along the same lines as the Uniform Domain Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). To be successful in a cnDRP complaint a trade mark owner must prove all three elements below:

(1) The domain is identical or confusingly similar to a name or mark in which the Complainant has civil rights or interests;

(2) The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of a domain; and

(3) The domain was registered or used in bad faith.

The UDRP and cnDRP differ on the third element as the UDRP requires the domain to be registered AND used in bad faith. The words “AND” “OR” do have implications when drafting a domain complaint but a lot has been written about this difference over the years, so it is not necessary to rehash it at this point.

 

Three Years

What is a concern, and worthy of discussion, is the time limit imposed by the cnDRP.

A cnDRP can only be relied upon within the first three years of a registration of a .cn domain. After the three years pass the domain can only be recovered via the local court system which is expensive and time-consuming.

Domain squatters, in the .cn domain world, are well aware of this three-year period. After that period has passed, they are awakened and blatantly offer the domain, for an exorbitant sum, to the trade mark owner knowing an acquisition is the most practical and cost-effective solution to resolve the matter.

 

Watch Your Language

Article 8 of the cnDRP provides that “unless otherwise agreed by the Parties or determined in exceptional cases by the Panel, the language of the domain dispute resolution proceedings shall be Chinese”.

We have successfully argued our clients .cn complaints in English by establishing that the Respondent is well versed or understands English sufficiently for our client not to translate the complaint into Chinese. This argument and others supported by evidence avoids translation costs as well as potentially briefing local counsel.

 

Conclusion

  1. When a .cn domain dispute is identified take note of the domain registration date so a complaint can be filed within the prescribed time limit.
  2. Gather evidence to argue your complaint in English.

Reach out to us at brandprotection@lexsynergy.com if you need assistance with a .cn complaint or in other jurisdictions.