German Federal Supreme Court decides about „Typo Domain Names”

In a decision of January 22, 2014 (I ZR 164/12 the First Division of the German Federal Supreme Court which is competent for unfair competition has rendered a judgement on “Typo Domain Names”. The plaintiff provides weather forecast services under the domain name “”. The defendant offers private health insurances under the domain name “”. A user making a typing error comes to the internet homepage of the defendant which gets a reward for any click on its homepage. The German Federal Supreme Court found the use of this “Typo Domain” to violate the Unfair Competition Act under aspect of an unfair hampering. The Court, however, denied a violation of name rights because the domain “” is lacking the required distinctiveness for a name. Moreover, the Court rejected a request for deletion of the domain name “” because one can think of a legal use of this domain name and the mere registration does not hamper the plaintiff in an unfair manner.