n Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - The international domain name classification debate : are domain names 'virtual property', intellectual property, property, or not property at all?

Volume 42, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0010-4051



The advent of digital technologies, the Internet in particular, presents traditional legal doctrine and principles with new and unique challenges. This article investigates a number of selected issues within one of the most controversial areas of Internet law, that of domain name law, mainly from an intellectual property law perspective. It deals particularly with the problematic question of to what extent domain names should be classified as proprietary interests from a trade mark law perspective. In doing so, the domain name as an object of property is also discussed within the context of a theoretically new class of property, that of 'virtual property', as well as within more traditional 'property' law paradigms.

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