Domain names are an essential element of the internet, as they are the unique identifiers of each 'individual' presence on the internet in a form which is meaningful, and therefore useable in everyday communication. Underlying each of these unique names is a numeric address recognisable to the computers (domain servers) that underpin the service.
Allocation of domain names is generally made on a first-come, first-served basis, although the creation of new tld's (top level domains) is usually accompanied by a €œsunrise€ period within which owners of trade mark registrations are placed at the front of the queue. By the very nature of domain names themselves, however, it is not necessarily the simple purchase of a similar domain name registration that will cause concern, but what is then done with it. If a similar domain name is acquired, but it is not used to point to a competing website, there will be no damage to the brand or company name. By contrast, the use of a confusingly similar domain name to the brand or company name by a competitor may redirect traffic away from your website to that of the competitor. Such action may be prevented either through trade mark laws, competition laws or via the various domain name dispute resolution procedures established worldwide.