Tuesday 2 June 2009

Quantum of damages for cybersquatting: a note on Danish practice

Jubii A/S owned the trade mark JUBII and operated an associated website, 'jubii.dk'. This multifunctional site, which included a dating portal, was the eighth most popular Danish site in 2007. Webdoxa.com registered the domain name 'wwwjubii.dk' in 2002, but Jubii did not learn of this until 2007. Visitors to 'wwwjubii.dk' were automatically transferred to a competing dating site after 10 seconds.

In Case V-2/08, February 24 2009, the Copenhagen Maritime and Commercial Court found that  'wwwjubii.dk' was confusingly similar to Jubii’s trade mark and that the services rendered by the parties partially overlapped.  Webdoxa was ordered not only to transfer the domain name 'wwwjubii.dk' to Jubii but also to pay compensation of approximately €4,000 for trade mark infringement, plus legal costs of approximately €3,000.

While domain name disputes are usually brought before the Danish Complaints Board for Domain Names, that board does not have to power to award compensation. Damages in such cases are however available under the Trade Marks Act. Since the costs of a lawsuit often exceed the compensation awarded by the courts, trade mark owners are advised to think carefully about the amount of compensation that they are likely to receive before bringing a domain name dispute before the courts.

Source: note in World Trademark Review, 21 May 2009, by Lisbet Andersen, Bech-Bruun, Copenhagen

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