Lawful domain names

The holder about to get an fi-domain name must make sure that the domain name is not unlawfully based on a protected name or trademark owned by another party. Characters allowed in domain names are also clearly specified.

Make sure that at the time of the registration, the fi-domain name of your choice

  • is not a protected name or trademark owned by another party
  • is not similar to a protected name or trademark owned by another party to the extent that you could be assumed to have registered the domain name to benefit from it or to cause damage.

Characters allowed in fi-domain names can be checked from the chapter What can a domain name contain?

Check the lawfulness in registers

An fi-domain name holder is responsible for consulting name and trademark registers to make sure that there is no obstacle preventing the domain name registration. The information is available in public online services.

Under law, the following names and trademarks are protected:

In accordance with the time priority rule, the protection of registered names and trademarks begins on the date of application which is earlier than the registration date of the name or trademark. When checking your right to an fi-domain name, it may be difficult to conclusively establish the application dates, or in other words priority dates, of trademark registrations accepted in Finland or the EU, for instance, that may later on be used as grounds for removing your domain name.

Please note that the business information system also contains other information than that based on the trade register and the register of foundations. For example, a name that is entered only into the Tax Administration's register is not protected.

Assessment of lawfulness

At the request of the holder of a protected name or trademark, FICORA may remove an fi-domain name from the fi-domain name register and the fi-root if, at the time of registration, it

  • is identical to a protected name or trademark owned by another party
  • is similar to a protected name or trademark owned by another party to the extent that you could be assumed to have registered the domain name to benefit from it or to cause damage

When assessing the similarity between a protected name or trademark and an fi-domain name, the following are not taken into account:

  • hyphens (-) in a protected name or trademark
  • spaces in a protected name or trademark
  • symbols for an organisation (Ltd., LP, etc.)
  • native language characters å, ä and ö that may be replaced by a and o

If a domain name is identical to a protected name or trademark, the domain name may be removed from the fi-domain name register only if the domain name holder cannot present a good, acceptable reason for his or her right. Read more about such acceptable reasons in Domain name dispute resolution.

Examples of identical names, trademarks and domain names:

  • Business name Company Ltd. and domain name company.fi
  • Name of an association Mid-Pacific Friends and domain name midpacificfriends.fi
  • Business name Åland islands travels Ltd. and domain name alandislandstravels.fi as well as ålandislandstravels.fi
  • Name of a party Liberal Party and domain name liberalparty.fi
  • Word mark LUCK and domain name luck.fi

Domain names similar to another party's name or trademark

A domain name is unlawful if it is similar to a protected name or trademark owned by another party and the clear intent of registering the domain name is to benefit from it or to cause damage.

Examples:

Trademark MARIMEKKO - domain name marimeko.fi

Trademark CAT – domain name cats.fi, catandmouse.fi

Trademark House Factory Ltd. – domain name house.fi

Auxiliary business name Helsinki Building Materials – domain name buildingmaterials.fi

Business name Example.fi Ltd. - domain name example.fi

However, removing a domain name similar to a protected name owned by another party requires that it has been registered with the clear intent to benefit from it or to cause damage, and the domain name holder has not presented a good, acceptable reason for his or her right.

The claiming party must present grounds for the clear intent to benefit or to cause damage. The domain name holder must submit a clarification to FICORA indicating the purpose for obtaining the domain name. In FICORA's decisions, the revocation of a domain name has always required strong proof of violation in accordance with the preparatory works of legislation.

Further information on decision-making practices

Using a protected name or trademark owned by another party as a domain name may also have other consequences based on, for example, the Business Names Act or Trademarks Act.

What can a domain name contain?

An fi-domain name may contain 2-63 characters. The permitted characters and the restrictions in their use are further specified.

Permitted characters in domain names are

  • letters a-z
  • numbers 0-9
  • hyphen-minus (-)

Permitted native language characters are

  • letters å, ä and ö
  • characters in the Sami languages spoken in Finland

A domain name may not begin or end with a hyphen-minus. The third and fourth characters may not both be hyphen-minuses.

An exception to this is the ACE form (ASCII Compatible Encoding) of a domain name containing native language characters å, ä or ö. In such case, the third and fourth characters may both be hyphen-minuses.


Key words: Internet, Dispute resolution, Domain names, Trademarks, Acts, Regulations


LinkedIn Print