Registering domain names in Viet Nam
Many economic experts view the domain name as the electronic trademark
of the enterprise, but in fact, a trademark is a trade indicator for
customers to find desired products, services or enterprises in the
market, whilst a domain name is an electronic indicator for customers
to find products, services or enterprises on the Internet. With
e-commerce developing at a very fast rate, there are more and more
enterprises establishing their own domain names and websites to promote
their operations. These domain names must be registered at State
authorities to be validated. However, the registration is not always a
Domain name registration is experiencing problems similar to the ones
affecting trademarks, such as prior-registration. An example is of a US
company whose trademark has been registered in the US, but may face
obstacles in registering the same trademark in Viet Nam because
somebody beat them to it and registered this US trademark in Viet Nam.
The reason for this situation is that there is no link between the US
Trademark Office and their counterpart in Viet Nam.
With respect to domain name, everybody knows that companies may
register.com or .net,… domains and .vn or .us domains. At the moment,
.com or .net which are named as "Generic Top Level Domain (GTTD)", are
under the global management of the Internet Corporation for Assigned
Names and Numbers (ICANN). Disputes over gTTDs are therefore settled by
a Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy approved by INCANN.
However,.vn or .us domains are named as country code Top Level Domain
(ccTLD);.com.vn, .biz.vn are Generic Second level domain names (GSLD),
and they all are under the management of the Internet Network
Information Centre of each country. In Viet Nam, ccTLD is .vn (.com.vn,
biz.vn) and they are governed by the Viet Nam Internet Network
Information Centre (VNNIC).
The matter of domain name disputes in Viet Nam lies in the lack of laws
on domain name protection and dispute resolution. At the moment,
registration and protection for domain names are mainly regulated under
Decision No 92/2003/QD – BBCVT of the Ministry of Posts and Telematics.
This decision provides principles for a domain name regime in Viet Nam
only and there is a lack of detailed laws on domain name protection,
especially regulations linking domain name and trademark, geographic
indications. For example, the decision states that "Registration of
domain names related to geographical indications... should be avoided.
In case of necessity, legitimate and clear proof should be submitted."
This regulation seems too loose to prevent impostors registering
trademarks under their own names, with the geographic indicators of
other companies. If you access the VNNIC Website at this time, you can
find that some domain names are under the name of persons without any
relation with the trademarks owners. Some suspected domain name
applications are pending at the Viet Nam Internet Network Information
Centre (VNNIC). If the trademarks are not well-known, trademark owner
may miss opportunities to claim their Intellectual Property rights on
these domain names and they will have to spend money and effort to
recover them in the future. There is no obligation to VNNIC to know
every trademark or registered trademark in Viet Nam, which means some
suspected domain names might escape the opposition and go through
registration without obstacles.
(VNS – 6 July, 2005)
1. Hanoi Head Office
| 54 Tran Quoc Vuong Street,
Cau Giay District,
2. Branch Office in Ho Chi Minh City :
Harbour View Tower,
35 Nguyen Hue Street,
Floor 2nd Room 204,
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
(Tòa nhà Harbour View, 35 Nguyễn Huệ, Lầu 2, phòng 204, phường Bến Nghé, quận 1, TP.HCM, Việt Nam )
Tel: (+84) 028 38210608
Fax: (+84) 028 38218292