Law & Policy

America Online Loses ICQ Domain Name In China

America Online (AOL), who in 2000 obtained the domain name ownership of oicq.com and cnnews.com from Shenzhen Tengxun Company and Shanghai Meiya Online, respectively, has now lost the its claim against www.net.cn for ownership of icq.com.cn.

In June 2004, AOL complained to the Domain Name Dispute Settling Center of the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission that icq.com.cn, onwed by www.net.cn is similar to its "icq" mark for which it has spent millions of dollars on since 1998. AOL requested that www.net.cn return the domain name. However, AOL was turned down by the Domain Name Dispute Settling Center for lack of adequate evidence showing it has rights in China over the "icq" mark.

AOL owns ICQ, an instant messaging service used primarily outside of China. AOL is a subsidiary of Time Warner, who owns CNN, the America-based cable news station. AOL obtained the oicq.com and cnnews.com domains to ward off squatting on sites with names similar to online services run by AOL: icq.com and cnn.com.

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