Domain names are personal property says Canadian court

Posted On September 7, 2011
In Domain Names / Reply

The Ontario Court of Appeal has ruled that a domain name constitutes personal property. As a consequence, an Ontario court has jurisdiction to grant declaratory relief that would circumvent a UDRP action.

The domain name registrar Tucows acquired the domain name “” when it purchased a portfolio of more than 30,000 surname domain names from Mailbank, Inc. The Brazilian department store retailer Renner brought a UDRP action against Tucows seeking transfer to it of the domain name. Tucows filed an action in the Supreme Court of Ontario, seeking declarations that it had rights or legitimate interests in the domain name, and that it had neither registered nor used the domain name in bad faith – declarations which would preclude Renner from succeeding in the UDRP action. The UDRP panellist terminated the UDRP action as a result of Tucows’ court filing. The Canadian court at first instance ruled that it did not have jurisdiction to hear Tucows’ claim for the declaratory relief. The Court of Appeal overturned that decision, finding that it did have jurisdiction because a domain name is personal property in Ontario.

Comments are closed.