ISO has recently scored new successes in its fight to prevent its name being misused on the Internet to mislead people into buying products or services that they believe are endorsed by ISO.
The Arbitration and Mediation Center of WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) ruled that the following Internet domain names, which had been registered by companies with no connection to ISO, be transferred to ISO:
- iso1stop.com, iso9000commerce.com, isoeasy.com, isoeasy.org, isoeasy.info, isonet.net and isotraining.net.
WIPO upheld ISO’s contention that the inclusion of “iso” in the domain names gave the misleading impression that the Web sites were sponsored by ISO, or affiliated to it. The WIPO arbitrators found that the domain names had been registered with a view to commercial gain by the registrants since Internet users could be attracted to the sites mistakenly believing them to be connected to ISO.
ISO has published more than 15 000 International Standards including the ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 management system standards which at the end of 2004 were implemented by some 760 900 organizations in 154 countries
The success of ISO’s standards has been accompanied by the growth of organizations offering related products and services such as certification of conformity, consultancy, training, publications and software. The majority operates in a business-like manner without infringing ISO trademarks, but some make use of ISO’s name in a way that could confuse potential customers into believing that these organizations are part of ISO, or that they, their products or services are endorsed by ISO.
This has led ISO to take even more vigorous action in recent years to protect Internet users from making such abusive purchases and to pursue organizations refusing to comply with ISO’s policy on the use of its name and logo.
Mr. José Checa, Legal Adviser at ISO Central Secretariat, commented: “To date, ISO has successfully filed several cases with the WIPO Center, in addition to some court actions in several countries. These decisions have confirmed that ISO is a famous mark protected in most countries and that any unauthorized registration as an Internet domain name of the mark ISO – alone or in combination with other words – in the context of standardization and related activities should not be permitted.”
ISO’s policy on the use of its name and logo can be consulted on its Web page, along with guidelines on publicizing certification to its ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 14001:2004 standards.