ONCA on domain names and UDRP

Last week, in Tucows.Com Co. v. Lojas Renner, 2011 ONCA 548, the Ontario Court of Appeal determined that a domain name was “personal property in Ontario” for the purposes of jurisdiction under Rule 17.02(a) after a UDRP proceeding had already been started.

The Court held that it was not improper to start the Ontario proceeding after the UDRP proceeding has already been started:

[31]         Tucows did not breach the spirit of the UDRP or the UDRP Rules in instituting its action.  Thus, the acceptance of jurisdiction by the Ontario Superior Court would not in any way undermine the UDRP process.

After considering the jurisprudence and the meaning of “property”, the court held that:

[72] I would hold that for purposes of rule 17.02(a), the domain name is intangible personal property located in Ontario.

[73] Pursuant to Van Breda, if a case falls within rule 17.02(a), a real and substantial connection for the purposes of assuming jurisdiction against the defendant will be presumed to exist. That presumption has not been rebutted by Renner. Accordingly, I would hold that Tucows’s service of its statement of claim on Renner is valid.

The case is Tucows.Com Co. v. Lojas Renner S.A., 2011 ONCA 548.