This article will explain how domain disputes in Brazil are solved, explaining the criteria adopted and how far Registro.br and CGI.br go when it comes to solving these matters.
According to Registro.BR, any entity legally established in Brazil (whether legal entity or private person) can register a domain in the country, as long as the person has a contact here or, in the case of foreign companies, an attorney legally established in Brazil.
The domain com.br has reached 2.326.482 websites in 2011. As e-commerce practices has been growing in Brazil and an online profile has been the most significant way of being updated, domain disputes in Brazil are growing aswell.
Following the growth of Internet usage in Brazil, cybersquatting practices has misled millions of users from websites that are already owned by companies. Using a small variation on a brand's name, it attracts clients to websites whose content is related to viruses, pages that sell counterfeit products (many of them carrying the name of the brand) or that is full of pay-per-click ads. Also, when establishing a business abroad, many foreign companies have to deal with the surprisingly fact that there is already a website using their brand's name.
Domain disputes in Brazil must be taken to the Judiciary, as CGI.br (Internet Manager Committee), which is the organization behind Registro.br, is not responsible for solving domain disputes.
Also, CGI.br does not considers brands' names and therefore, does not consider if a private person wants to register a domain with a name that is known throughout the world. According to them, all that matters is that the domain is not registered yet. The preference is given to whomever comes up with the registration first.
As Registro.br has an extensive list of valid extensions (see the list here), many problems regarding domains with the same extension are solved by changing the extension from com.br to net.br. However, such practice leads to several problems, as it may cause confusion regarding the content of the domain.
As Registro.br does not consider brands' names, the situation can be very delicate sometimes, as a third party can create a domain using the name of a famous brand as the address. If this is your case, you should hire a Cyber law attorney or, if you have properly registered your brand's name, a Copyright one would be more indicated.
Your case will be taken to the Judiciary and judged according to the following criteria, that constitute an act of bad faith:
- The name of the domain is identical or similar enough to be confused with the brand's name that has already been registered at the National Institute of Industrial Property or that is notoriously known in its line of services;
- The name is identical or similar enough to be confused with an established title, company or family name, pseudonym, nickname or artistic name notoriously known, or any other name one has previously owned;
- The domain was created to harm one's commercial activity;
- The domain was created with the purpose of being sold afterwards;
- The domain was created to prevent one from using that particular name as a domain address;
- The domain was created with the intention of attracting Internet users to one's website, taking advantage of the confusion with your brand's name.
Registro.br will send all the necessary data to the Judiciary and only if there is a court order, the domain will be canceled or transferred to the real owner of the brand. The average time to have a case like this solved is of two years, or a little bit longer if the other part decides do appeal.
Other Related Information
- Internet Usage in Brazil
- Registering a com.br Domain Name
- Protecting Intellectual Property in Brazil