Generic Terms In Domain Names (germany)

In a spectacular judgment, the German Higher Regional Court in Hamburg decided in July 1999 that the use of generic terms as domain names is under certain circumstances anticompetitive and, thus, not permitted. The German Supreme Court had a different point of view and set aside the judgment. Currently, Germany allows the use of generic names as domain names. This practice is not considered in violation of Unfair Competition Law provided that some requirements are met. This summary illuminates the German legal position on that issue of generic terms as domain names.

The following questions have been addressed in this article:

Is the use of generic terms in domain names infringing Unfair Competition Law?
What happens if the generic term resembles a family name?

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