Domain names

Domain names are the gateway to your company's global presence. Having control over your brand online is essential for its reputation and continued success.

Abusive domain name registrations can be detrimental to your business, leading to misdirected traffic, consumer confusion, and revenue loss. In order to protect your brand and clients, it is important to take immediate action against any misappropriations by cybersquatters, counterfeiters, and other infringers of intellectual property rights.

Our Intellectual Property Team has extensive experience in domain name matters, including the handling of domain name disputes as well as advising on the transfer of domain name portfolios in M&A and bankruptcy situations.

The team includes Thijs van Aerde and Karim Abass. Thijs is an experienced IP litigator who also serves as a panelist at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a leading domain name dispute resolution provider. Karim previously worked in WIPO's Internet Dispute Resolution Section.

What services can we provide?

  • Domain name disputes
    As an alternative to court action, an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) proceeding is a cost-efficient and time-saving solution when combatting infringing use of domain names.

    Houthoff represents clients in domain name disputes concerning generic Top-Level Domains ('.com', '.org', '.info', etc.) and country code Top-Level Domains ('.nl', '.eu', '.co', etc.). ADR proceedings are particularly suitable for cybersquatting, brand impersonation, and typosquatting cases. They deliver a relatively quick resolution to immediate threats by allowing trademark owners to seek the transfer or cancellation of the infringing domain name.

  • Court litigation
    We have vast experience in IP litigation and regularly represent clients in domain name disputes and other IP disputes. Court action may be necessary if a case is not suited for an ADR procedure, the domain name does not incorporate your trademark, or you would like to seek injunctive relief, claim payment of damages, or both.
  • Represented the Netherlands Vehicle Authority (RDW) in a dispute concerning the domain name rdwtellerrapport.nl. The disputed domain name led to a website offering alleged RDW odometer reports, falsely suggesting that the website was affiliated with RDW.
  • Represented Brazilian multinational petroleum company Petrobras, as it sought the transfer of the domain name petrobrasbv.nl. The disputed domain name led to a fraudulent website mimicking Petrobras' official website.
  • Represented an individual, in a UDRP proceeding, who became the victim of a fraudulent domain name registration of his personal name and trademark. The disputed domain name led to a website aimed at committing identity theft.

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Thijs van Aerde

Key Contact

Amsterdam
Advocaat | Counsel
+31 20 605 65 93
+31 6 4155 7812

Key Contact

London
Advocaat | Associate
+44 207 422 50 43
+44 793 250 74 33