Adoption by the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation of Resolution No. 10/2019 clarifying the issue of domain names

On April 23rd, the Russian Supreme Court adopted Resolution No. 10/2019, clarifying the provisions of Part 4 of the Russian Civil Code relating to intellectual property and domain names.

The Russian Supreme Court has declared that the violation of a trademark by a domain name is characterized subject to the use of the said domain name for goods and services similar to those designated by the trademark in question. The mere reservation of a domain name reproducing a trademark is likely to constitute an infringement as long as the intention of the reserved party at the time of registration is considered to be wrong. This modification is welcome because it makes it easier to act against an unused domain name.

In addition, clarification was also provided regarding the obtaining of information on the identity of Russian domain name registrants. While it is possible to make such a request to registrars, obtaining information is increasingly complicated, with many registrars refusing to disclose it or requiring numerous documents. The resolution specifies that it is possible to request the lifting of anonymity in the context of legal proceedings. However, this alternative solution is not ideal in that it involves taking legal action against an unknown registrant.

 

Finally, the Russian Supreme Court has also indicated that it is now possible to claim damages.

While this resolution clarifies certain aspects relating to domain names, the issue of access to Whois data has not yet been resolved.