EU-Domains: "" - Sonderzeichen zu beachten?


Das Prager Schiedsgericht für die ADR-Verfahren bei EU-Domains hat eine weitere Entscheidung getroffen (Urt. v. 23.03.2006 - Az.: 00398).

Die Domain "" war einem holländischen Unternehmen in der Sunrise-Phase zugeteilt worden. Diese hatte sich auf eine eingetragene Marke mit dem Begriff "barc & elona" berufen. Gemäß den EURID-Vergaberegeln soll das "&" als Sonderzeichen zu werten sein und demnach nicht beachtet werden. In zahlreichen weiteren Fällen hatte die Domain-Inhaberin das gleiche Spiel gespielt (u.a. "amst & erdam", "ath & ens", "bel & arus" und "bo & snia").

Gegen diese Domainvergabe wandte sich die Stadt Barcelona und leitete das ADR-Verfahren ein.

Zu Recht wie das Prager Schiedsgericht nun urteilte. Angesichts der Mehrdeutigkeit der EURID-Vergaberegeln sei die Vergabeentscheidung von EURID im vorliegenden Fall falsch gewesen:

"Article 10.2, which requires “registration of the complete name for which the prior right exists” needs to be read in conjunction with the material wording of Article 11 of Regulation 874/2004 - “Where the name for which prior rights are claimed contains special characters…., these shall be eliminated entirely from the corresponding domain name, replaced with hyphens, or, if possible, rewritten”.

The provision is not free from ambiguity. First, it is unclear whether the decision as to which course is adopted is that of the Registry or the applicant for registration. The only sensible construction, however, is that the decision is that of the applicant.

Second, it is unclear as to whether the applicant is obligated to choose any particular course in preference to another. The Complainant draws attention to the use of the words “if possible” as tending to suggest that, if the special characters can be re-written, they should be and that the other courses should only be followed if this is not possible."

Und weiter:

"The relevant phrase points both ways. The word “or” suggests that the applicant has an unfettered choice as to which of the 3 courses it should follow, whereas the words “if possible” tend to suggest that, if it is possible to re-write the name, that course should be followed. The Complainant has given a number of examples where brand owners have rewritten their name in this way of which the best is probably These, of course, are only illustrative of solutions which third parties have chosen to adopt.

If the Article were construed in a manner which gave an Applicant an unfettered choice, it could lead to some surprising results. For example, the owner of a trademark for B&A&R&C&E&L&O&N&A could have chosen to use it as the basis of a sunrise application for BARCELONA. eu. It should be presumed that the words “if possible” are not otiose. They must be intended to affect the meaning of a phrase which would otherwise give the applicant an entirely free hand, by requiring it to rewrite the name to deal with special characters where that is possible. The position as to what is possible may depend on the Prior Right and the particular special character under consideration but it is considered that it was possible on these facts to rewrite the name and that, on these facts, the Prior Rights should have been rewritten as BARCANDELONA.

Accordingly, it is not considered that the Respondent’s decision in this respect was in accordance with the Regulations."

Die Domainvergabe an die holländische Firma wurde somit aufgehoben.