UAE domain regulator accused in copyright row

Nutritional supplement firm Irena denied .ae web domain despite holding trademark

Tags: International Renewable Energy AssociationTelecommunications Regulatory Authority - UAEUnited Arab Emirates
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UAE domain regulator accused in copyright row .aeDA deleted the registered to Reed saying it belonged to the International Renewable Energy Association (IRENA).
By  Soren Billing Published  August 11, 2009

The UAE internet domain regulator has denied a company its own .ae website, despite the firm holding a 12-year-old trademark for the name in question.

Kevin Reed, a businessman from the UK, had decided to begin selling Irena, a nutritional supplement, in the UAE and registered the domain with AEDA, the regulatory body for the country's internet domain name.

But after the name was registered, the agency deleted the domain, saying it belonged to the International Renewable Energy Association (IRENA), an intergovernmental organisation that will be headquartered in Abu Dhabi.

"If it's a governmental organisation then, as per their own rules, is the correct top level domain," Reed said.

In addition, the parent company of Reed's firm has held the trademark for Irena in Europe and the UK for the past twelve years, he added.

The incident has made the company scrap its plans to enter the UAE market.

AEDA declined to comment.

The agency's website states that it will "continually strive to maintain best practice for the administration of the .ae [domain] and will administer the .ae domain in a fair and transparent manner".

3598 days ago
Rami O

The title of this article does not make legal sense as the conflict is over trademark rights and not copyright as mentioned here. In addition, there is a lot of missing info and there is a need to mention all relevant facts related to the dispute as this will give a better view of how the AEDA handled the dispute and applied its rules. The golden rule in any domain name registration is “first come first served” and this means that the registrant will keep his domain name if he has demonstrated a legitimate interest in connection with the domain name. If the trademark owner had registered a domain name to establish a website for his product and trademark, he should keep it even if another international firm has the same to register its name. In the case of competing interesting, one of the practical solutions that might be implemented is to provide one single page for both firms where it will take visitors for either the product or the firm.

3603 days ago

Yesterday I spent 45 minutes speaking to .ae domain registrar and my only request was to renew my domain name. The person I spoke to told me that I need to fax my renewal form even though their website states that you can e-mail a scanned copy. The irony is, an internet domain registrar in the year 2009 who is supposed to embrace and promote the Internet does not accept a domain renewal form by email and prefers to use a fax machine. This might be slightly off the subject but speaking of first world standards.

3605 days ago

If there is no link to Dubai then why was this type of action taken against a .ae domain .Is Dubai and AbuDhabi not part of the UAE in turn part of the GCC etc... (the bigger picture !! ).Maybe now you will see the correlation :-).The UAE is striving and aspiring to move forward towards a first world country - admirably so !! .....who was frustrated ? just commenting on issues that are limiting the oppurtunity.Oh yes and by the way they need me here guess ill stay or who else can / will do my job ?

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