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Typo domains – The BGH decides on infringement of competition law

The BGH decided accordingly that the use of a domain name (here: “”), which is formed from the incorrect spelling of a previously registered Internet address (here: “”), from the point of view of intercepting customers The prohibition of unfair obstruction is violated if the Internet user is directed to a website on which he does not find the expected service (here: weather information), but only advertising (here: advertising for insurance services). According to the BGH, there is no legitimate interest in this interception of customers. However, the interest of the “right” domain is worthy of protection in not losing potentially angry customers who do not immediately notice their typo.

At the same time, however, the BGH restricted the violation of competition law again: If the user is immediately and conspicuously made aware of the fact that he is not on the website on the website that he reaches when he accidentally enters the “typo domain”, which he wanted to call up, unfair obstruction will normally have to be denied. In this case, the user is specifically informed that he or she has, in a sense, become “lost”.

Users of typographical domains will therefore face warnings in the future, which can be based on this highest court ruling by the Federal Court of Justice. Even greater caution is required when using typo domains.

Anwalt Gesellschaftsrecht und Handelsrecht

dr Andrelang, LL. M

Specialist lawyer for international business law

Specialist lawyer for commercial and corporate law


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