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Landmark ruling on Internet domain names

The federal court has issued a landmark ruling in the case of Internet domain names. The case involved an information technology company which had taken the domain name,

Such a name would usually be associated with the tourist region, the Bernese Oberland. The judges, upholding a decision by a court in canton Berne, said the use of the name by the IT firm, Kaformatik, was deceiving and led to confusion.

The court said Kaformatik had breached the laws on fair competition. It ordered the company to change its domain name. Kaformatik said the 'first come, first serve' principle should be respected, in an unsuccessful defence of its action.

The judges indicated that they had taken into account international efforts already underway to combat piracy on the Internet.

swissinfo with agencies

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