Canadian court rules that internet domain names can be personal property

Canadian court rules that internet domain names can be personal property

A Canadian court recently found that domain registrations, by and large, should be considered personal property under Canadian law, according to a Financial Post report.

The case centered on a dispute between Toronto internet service provider Tucows and a subsidiary of JCPenny called Renner. The latter company complained that Tucows had been using the domain name Renner.com in bad faith and infringing on its trademarks, but the ruling.

One expert told the publication that the decision could mean an even wider recognition of digital goods as personal property is in the offing. Osgoode Hall Law School property law teacher Stuart Hargreaves specifically cited "objects that individuals create, buy and sell but that exist only as collections of ones and zeroes in online worlds," the newspaper said.

A report from Lexology noted that the case also makes a flood of new lawsuits about domain registrations belonging to Ontario companies possible, given the precedent it established for the jurisdiction of the court there and the status of domain names as personal property.