Domain name dispute resolution
FICORA monitors compliance with the provisions on domain names in the Information Society Code and the related Domain Name Regulation 68. The Information Society Code contains provisions on the lawful fi-domain names.
FICORA has also prepared explanatory notes for the Regulation, MPS 68.
FICORA reacts only if the threshold for removing a domain name from the register, as provided in domain name legislation, is exceeded.
Domain names may, in principle, be freely chosen but the domain name holder is responsible that the domain name registration is lawful. FICORA can afterwards intervene in unlawfully registered fi-domain names by, for example, removing them from the domain name register.
FICORA does not have the power to
- assess the lawfulness of website content
- order the content to be removed or revised
- order websites to be shut down.
Removing a domain name means that the holder that has registered the fi-domain name loses the domain name based on FICORA's decision. The decision may be appealed to the Market Court.
A holder of a protected name or trademark may submit a removal claim if it suspects that the fi-domain name violates its protected name or trademark. In this connection, the claiming party may also request the fi-domain name to be transferred to it.
In principle, claims concerning violations of business names or trademarks may be divided into two categories:
- cases where a registered fi-domain name is based on a protected name (e.g. business name) or trademark owned by another party
- cases where an fi-domain name differs from a name or trademark by, for example, one letter or the trademark is a so-called figurative mark. These are called derivatives.
Other grounds for removing a domain name from the register include:
- insufficient or defective information entered into FICORA's domain name register that are not corrected within a set period
- final decision by a court prohibiting the use of an fi-domain name.
If a domain name has been transferred to another holder without the original holder’s consent, FICORA may return the domain name to the original holder. A domain name cannot be returned unless the original holder requests it. FICORA examines the matter and requests the recipient of the transfer to present an acceptable reason for the transfer within a set period. The return always requires strong proof indicating that the domain name has been transferred to another holder without the original holder's consent.
FICORA may remove a domain name from the fi-root for a maximum period of one year. Removing a domain name temporarily from the fi-root means that, in practice, the domain name ceases to be active. As a result, websites are not available and email services do not work. However, the domain name holder's name remains in the domain name register even though the domain name is removed temporarily from the fi-root.
A domain name may be removed from the fi-root without consulting the holder. In such cases, FICORA must assess the matter carefully and in addition:
- the domain name holder must have applied for several domain names that are similar to a protected name or trademark of another holder and
- the holder of the protected name or trademark must request the domain name to be removed.
FICORA may remove a domain name from the fi-root only if it is obvious that the domain name holder has no acceptable reason for obtaining the domain name. During the temporary removal from the fi-root, the right holder may pursue other necessary legal action.
The preparatory works of legislation mention typosquatting which means, for example, that someone systematically and consistently registers fi-domain names resembling protected names or trademarks with the intent to trick internet users into opening a website they do not intend to.