The “domain name baron” threatened to be sued

VietNamNet Bridge – Nguyen Trong Khoa, who is well known as the “domain name baron,” may be sued by Eurowindow as a blackmailer.


Mr Nguyen Trong Khoa


Khoa has been known as a big domain name trader, who has got rich by speculating domain names and selling to the enterprises which have the demand for the domain names with the worlds relating to their brand names or enterprises’ names.

It’s still unclear how rich Khoa is, but people believe that he owns the domain names worth multi billions of dong. Khoa was wise enough to register the domain names relating to or similar to the names of the famous enterprises and then sells the domain names back to the famous enterprises.

The domain names owned by Khoa prove to be invaluable, which enterprises have to spend big money to obtain them.

Regarding the Eurowindow case, Khoa has bought some domain names www.eurowindowholding.com, eurowindowholding.net; eurowindowholding.vn; eurowindowholding.com.vn which all then link to www.eurowindown-holding.com which the group is using.

After that, Khoa, via a man named Minh, a marketing officer of Eurowindow, offered to sell Eurowindow the set of four domain names at 50,000 dollars, or over one billion dong.

A source said that Eurowindow is considering denouncing Khoa to the Ministry of Public Security with the title of “blackmailing.”

Minh, the marketing officer of Eurowindow, has confirmed with Lao dong newspaper that Khoa has suggested that Eurowindow buys back the domain names to facilitate its business. However, Minh said what he has done is just reporting the invitation from Khoa to the company’s board of management. He stressed that he is just an officer, who is not on the right position to make decision in this case.

Prior to that, Nguyen Trong Khoa bought the domain name legendeecoffee.com which relates to the coffee products of the Vietnamese well-known coffee group Trung Nguyen and links that to sex.com, which is a sex website.

When asked about the case, Lawyer Chau Huy Quang said Eurowindow can cherish the hope of claiming back the domain names relating to its brand name.

Affirming that there is a possibility for Eurowindow to win the case, but Quang said that the final decision would still depend on many other factors.

Eurowindow needs to prove some things. First, they need to register their trademarks for their products in Vietnam and in the world.

Second, Eurowindow needs to prove that the fact that Nguyen Trong Khoa appropriates the domain names coinciding with Eurowindow’s name must be seen as a behavior of unhealthy competition, which would badly affect the branding.

The lawyer said the article No. 130 of the Intellectual Property does not list domain names as the subject for protection by the laws. However, the laws prohibit the behaviors of registering, appropriating and using the domain names that coincide with the protected names.

Here in the case, according to Quang, the behavior of unhealthy competition is that though owning the domain names, the owner does not have any benefits relating to the registered domain names.

Quang also cited the Circular No. 10 dated in 2008 by the Ministry of Information and Communication which mentions the use of domain names for the dark design of leasing, selling to the brand name owners for money.

Therefore, Quang believes that Eurowindow has every reason to take legal proceedings to claim back its brand name.

Lao Dong

Vietnam, telecom, domain name, intellectual property, trade
 
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