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Samsung Electronics now has the right to use both domain names samsungmobile.com.vn and samsungmobile.vn as announced by first instance and appellate instance courts.
The judgment No. 52/2011/KDTM-PT dated March 29, 2011 of the Appellate Court of the Supreme People’s Court in Hanoi, in favor of the plaintiff, decided to withdraw the above domain name and grant to Samsung the priority right, amending the Verdict No. 69/2010/KDTM-ST of the first instance court.
Previously, in the same case, on February 6, 2011, the First Instance Court of Hanoi People’s Court, rendered a similar verdict in respect of the domain name samsungmobile.com.vn.
The domain name samsungmobile.com.vn was registered in the name of Duong Hong Minh on November 3, 2005 and the domain name samsungmobile.vn had been in the name of ViTechNet sinceDecember 20, 2007.
After their registration, Minh and ViTechNet offered for sale the domain name samsungmobile.com.vn at the price of VND80 million ($3,800) with promotional reward of the domain name samsungmobile.vn on the website www.muare.com.
Samsung conducted negotiation with those people to gain the usage right of the domain names. However, Minh then sent a quotation for transferring them to Samsung at the total price of VND218 million ($10,500).
According to the Circular 10/2008/TT-BTTTT dated December 24, 2008 of the Ministry of Information and Communications in order to have sufficient grounds to initiate a domain name dispute resolution lawsuit, all the three conditions provided for in item 1 section II of the circular must be met: firstly the disputed domain name is identical with or confusingly similar to plaintiff’s name; identical with or confusingly similar to the trademark or service mark in which the plaintiff has rights or legitimate interests; secondly defendant has no rights or legitimate interests with respect to the domain name; and thirdly the domain name has been used by the defendant in bad faith with regard to the plaintiff.
In this Samsung case, the courts held that the three above conditions had been met.
The First Instance Court – Hanoi People’s Court on June 2, 2010, rendered verdict to withdraw the domain name samsungmobile.com.vn and gave to Samsung the priority right in its registration during ten consecutive days.
Nevertheless, the court dismissed request to withdraw the second domain name (samsungmobile.vn), on the ground that it had been registered in the name of another person - Tran Ngoc Tien, since ViTechNet did not renew it upon its expiration.
Agreeing with the above arguments, the Appellate Court held on March 29, 2011 that the first instance verdict must be amended to withdraw the domain name samsungmobile.vn and give to Samsung the priority right in its registration and use.