TRADE MARK
Internet

The governments of Canada and Alberta have won disputes over registration of several official-sounding .ca domain names. In each case, the arbitrators ruled that the government has rights to the name and that the domains were registered in bad faith. The federal government won the rights to the domains www.governmentofcanada.ca, www.governementducanada.ca, www.canadiancustoms.ca and www.statscanada.ca among others. The government of Alberta won the rights to the domain www.albertagovernment.ca.
In the case relating to the federal government claims, the arbitrators found that many of the domain names wereconfusingly similar to the names of government departments, even though they were not quite the same. The arbitrators found that the test is resemblance based on first impression and imperfect recollection. The registrant’s defence was that he had a legitimate interest in the domain names because he planned to use them to criticize the government and specific departments was rejected by the arbitrators, who noted that the domains had been used for different purposes and had been offered for sale by the registrant. In addition, the federal government had previously won similar disputes with the same registrant over .com and .org domain names.

See: http://www.cira.ca/en/dpr-decisions/00011govt-of-canada-En.pdf
or http://www.cira.ca/en/dpr-decisions/00012-albertagovernment-en.pdf
For comments on US and Canadian IP law, see E-TIPS: e-tips@dww.com