Are Domain Names Property? The sex.com Controversy

By: Christine Soares

Do domain names constitute tangible property? Since domain names may be purchased or transferred, the answer at first glance would appear to be “yes”. Congress has also dictated that domain names corresponding closely to existing trademarks may be considered tangible property under certain circumstances. However, a recent case involving the lurid and lucrative domain name “sex.com” has determined otherwise. This iBrief examines the impact of characterizing domain names as tangible or intangible property on the causes of action available for domain name litigation.

Cite: 2001 Duke L. & Tech. Rev. 0032

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