Case law

  • Case Details
    • National ID: 2A-421/2014
    • Member State: Lithuania
    • Common Name:link
    • Decision type: Court decision in appeal
    • Decision date: 28/04/2014
    • Court: Court of Appeal
    • Subject:
    • Plaintiff: Lietuvos advokatūra
    • Defendant: UAB “Lexis LT”
    • Keywords: black list, internet, unfair commercial practices
  • Directive Articles
    Unfair Commercial Practices Directive, Annex I, 4.
  • Headnote
    The use of the word “advokatas” (eng. attorney-at-law) in a domain name is considered to be an unfair commercial practice, if the holder of such a domain name does not have an attorney-at-law licence.
  • Facts
    The defendant, a company providing legal services, registered domain names “eadvokatas.lt” (eng. “eattorney-at-law.lt”) and “eadvokatai.lt” (eng. “eattorneys-at-law.lt”).

    The plaintiff (Lithuanian Bar Association) sued the defendant and requested the court to deregister both domain names or assign them to the plaintiff.
  • Legal issue
    The court explained that under Lithuanian law, an attorney-at-law is a person, which, amongst other things, has an attorney-at-law license. Neither the defendant, nor its employees have attorney-at-law licences.

    Taking the above into account, the court concluded that the defendant’s domain names, containing the word advokatas (eng. attorney-at-law), misled the average consumer, because they could have thought that the legal services would be provided by an attorney-at-law. Since the defendant did not have an attorney-at-law licence, by registering and using such domain names, the defendant falsely claimed that he had the respective license and that is incompliant with fair commercial practices.
  • Decision

    Can the use of the word “advokatas” (eng. attorney-at-law) in a domain name be considered as an unfair commercial practice, if the holder of such a domain name does not have an attorney-at-law licence?

    URL: http://liteko.teismai.lt/viesasprendimupaieska/tekstas.aspx?id=b68ff41a-9bc3-4db5-9b89-9e1132fa9f9e

    Full text: Full text

  • Related Cases

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  • Legal Literature

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  • Result
    The court upheld the plaintiff’s claim.
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