Key Point: Registering a domain name does not generate specific IP rights for the owner, but using a domain name confusingly similar with a third party trade mark could create IP infringement issues.
With the number of domain name "levels" now expanded, and with many domain names consisting of or including a trade mark of the registrant, disputes over "ownership" of domain names are becoming more common. Domain names are now being registered not only to serve as addresses for websites, but frequently to prevent others from being able to use the same domain name. The latter may apply where registrants are genuinely constructing, or intending to construct a site, but can also arise where a domain name has been registered with purely commercial gain in mind i.e. to sell the domain name on to a third party.