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The Dot-CA System: An Overview

  • The Canadian Internet Registration Authority ("CIRA") is a not-for-profit Canadian corporation mandated to operate the dot-ca country code top level domain name. CIRA sets policy for, manages and operates the dot-ca domain space for Registrars and Registrants.

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Dot-CA Dispute Mechanism: CIRA Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy

  • In November 2001, CIRA, the body mandated to govern the dot-ca space, implemented the CIRA Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy ("CDRP"), which addresses instances of bad faith registration in the dot-ca space. Registrants must submit to a Complaint pursuant to the CDRP if an aggrieved trade-mark owner elects to challenge a dot-ca domain name registration.

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Substantive Elements of the CIRA Dispute Resolution Policy

  • The CIRA Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy ("CDRP") sets out three (3) factors a complainant trade-mark owner ("Complainant") must satisfy in order to secure the transfer of the disputed domain name.

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Domain Name Enforcement - Initiating A Court Action

  • The Canadian Trade-marks Act provides that trade-mark owners may bring actions for infringement, depreciation of goodwill and passing off.

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Remedies Available in a Court Action

  • Courts have considered a number of remedies, including declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as general damages and punitive damages.

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Remedies Available Under The CIRA Dispute Resolution Policy

  • The CIRA Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy ("CDRP") provides for the cancellation or transfer of the disputed domain name should the complainant trade-mark ("Complainant") owner establish that a domain name was registered in bad faith.

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Remedies Available Under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act

  • The U.S. statute, the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act ("ACPA"), provides a civil cause of action against anyone who, with a bad faith intent to profit, registers, traffics in, or uses a domain name that is confusingly similar, or identical, to a distinctive mark, or confusingly similar, or dilutive of, a famous mark.

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Doctrine of Initial Interest Confusion

  • The doctrine of initial interest confusion has received limited attention from Canadian courts. Initial interest confusion refers to the use of another's trade-mark in a manner reasonably calculated to capture initial consumer attention even though no actual sale is completed as a result of the confusion (Brookfield Communications Inc. v. West Coast Entertainment Corp., 174 F.3d 1036 (9th Cir. 1999).

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