UAE domain regulator accused in copyright row

The UAE internet domain regulator has denied a company its own .ae website, despite the firm holding a 12-year-old trademark for the name in question.
Michael Reed, a businessman from the UK, had decided to begin selling Irena, a nutritional supplement, in the UAE and registered the domain with AEDA, the regulatory body for the country’s internet domain name.

But after the name was registered, the agency deleted the domain, saying it belonged to the International Renewable Energy Association (IRENA), an intergovernmental organisation that will be headquartered in Abu Dhabi.

“If it’s a governmental organisation then, as per their own rules, is the correct top level domain,” Reed said.

In addition, the parent company of Reed’s firm has held the trademark for Irena in Europe and the UK for the past twelve years, he added.

The incident has made the company scrap its plans to enter the UAE market.

AEDA declined to comment.

The agency’s website states that it will “continually strive to maintain best practice for the administration of the .ae [domain] and will administer the .ae domain in a fair and transparent manner”.


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